ShabbyBlogs - Must be Maddie

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


I am an over-prepare-er.  In high school and college I over studied to make sure I was ready for tests, exams, presentations, you name it.  At work I try and do everything I can to prepare myself for the meetings the next day.  When I'm traveling I start packing like five days before I'm supposed to leave.

For me, over preparing helps me handle my anxiety and stress.  It makes me feel like I have control  over something that may be out of my control.  But right now in my life, I have something fairly large that I just don't know how to prepare for.

In early October, next month my mom is undergoing heart surgery.  I found out last week that her heart isn't beating regularly and her mitral valve that isn't working the way it should.  So in early October the surgeon will go in and determine if the valve can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced.  While he's in there, he will decide if they want to do anything to address the a-fib.

I have a month which for everything else in life is a good amount of time for preparation but I have no idea how to begin to prepare for this.  I have been in denial for the last seven days.  I know I need to come to terms with what could happen but I am just not ready.  Typically Google is my starting place, but I'm not ready for those search results.  So like in high school journaling will me start to figure out my feelings.

Honestly I flip between being scared and feeling nothing at all.  I know that sounds bad but it is what it is and whatever happens is truly out of my control.  I can be loving and supportive but when that October date rolls around that's all I can do.

I feel like I should do everything I can to make sure my relationship with her is in the best place it can be.  However that means asking some pretty hard questions and having some pretty emotional conversations and I don't want to do anything to stress her.  I don't even know if I am ready to have those conversations.

So I'll start with baby steps, like calling her more often.  And maybe I will start mailing letters to her, even though stamps are $0.49!?!  There's something very therapeutic about writing with a pen and paper.  I've asked for some time off work so I can be there with her and my dad and brother.  Little by little I'm opening my mind, and heart, for short periods of time and allowing myself to freely think about what's coming.  I am talking about it with my husband and my close friends too.  

I will say it helps that her spirits are high.  When I talk with her, you would have no idea she has a pretty major surgery coming up.  It also helps that lots of people have had this surgery and have been totally fine.  I am optimistic about it all, hoping that maybe this was a kick in the pants for her to start taking care of herself.  For me to start taking care of myself and realize that life cannot be taken for granted.

I will keep saying my prayers and continue taking baby steps in dealing with news that has rattled me to the core.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


This week's long run was 6 miles.  Admittedly I was nervous about it.  That's a lot of miles.  I have never run 6 miles in my life.  Five miles yes, but 6...get out of town buddy.

Leading up to the long run, I made sure the day before and day of I was adequately hydrated.  I know from past experience that if I am not hydrated, my runs suffer.

Friday afternoon, knowing that I had at least an hour of running ahead of me, I ended work early.  Strapped on my shoes and got comfy for my longest run ever.

Now that I am running in the cold, something I am getting used to, I knew the first two miles may be tough.  I was right.  As usual it took me about two miles to get warmed up which means for those two miles I was tight, uncomfortable and not yet settled, and my shins hurt.  BUT!  Around 2.5 miles I found my rhythm and the shin pain subsided.  I felt good.  I ran faster.  When RunKeeper (the app I use to track my running) said I reached 6 miles, I fist bumped the air and found a surge of energy within me.  This wasn't so bad, really.  So I kept running for another half mile.

I ran 6.5 miles on Friday.  

Go Me!  I was/am so proud of myself.  It's good to set a goal for myself and attain it - no matter how much or how long it took.  On Friday, I exceeded my goal.

This running/training thing is doing me good.  I like this.

Friday, December 6, 2013


So a couple weeks ago my North Carolina BFF asked if I would be interested in running a half marathon with her.  I was hesitant but running a half marathon is on my life list.  After sleeping on it I agreed!  I figure now is as good a time as any.  I asked my friend in town, K also a runner, if she would be interested in doing it - she agreed!

Three of us are running a half marathon mid-March 2014.  Boom!

This is my second week of training.  K found a 16 week running plan online and it looked pretty good to me.  Running 4 times a week with one long run and slowly increasing the mileage.

Last week's long run was 4 miles and it was painful.  The day after Thanksgiving was not a great day to run...especially considering I had been driving for a couple hours so I was stiff and was fairly stuffed from the day before.  It was a slow and painful 4 miles but I did it.

This week's long run was 5 miles and it was great!  I needed a good run.  A run that was smooth with no shin pain.  I was able to do 5.32 miles in 54 min 47 seconds.  WAY better than the last 5 miles I ran which took an hour.

I feel encouraged.  I feel proud of myself.  I feel hungry!  :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

jury duty

Last Friday I fulfilled my civic duty and reported for jury duty.  Although I didn't want to miss work because I'm a workaholic, I was curious about the whole judicial process given the general climate of the news lately and because I have never been called in as a juror before.

Essentially my name was called as an alternate juror and then a bunch of questions were asked which weeded people out.  One of the questions to eliminate people was, 'do you feel comfortable passing judgement and assigning a punishment to another person?'  My immediate thought was, No, no I don't!!  But my logical side told me to stick in there because this is my patriotic obligation to my country.

Let me tell you, it's daunting and concerning to have someone's fate in your hands.  That is a LOT of responsibility.   A person's life and the next chapter in their life was in the hands of 12 people.  We were going to determine if someone could go home to their family or if they were going to face consequences.  When you stop to think about it, there is a lot of weight to that thought.

In any case I made it through the questioning round and became one of the jurors for the day's trial.

I think the toughest part of the day for me was sitting near the defendant.  I know in life we aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover but I couldn't help feeling sympathy towards this man.  He was middle aged, dressed nicely, and had kind, albeit worried, eyes.  For some reason my heart went out to him.

I was pretty excited when it was time for lunch.  Since we were near downtown I steered a small group of us to Smoked BBQ co.  I happen to know the guy (and his wife) who owns the cart/company and his food is just awesome.  Delicious everything, at a good price point, and it's quick.  I mean you can't go wrong.

After lunch we heard the rest of the case and soon it was deliberation time.  To be honest I thought my opinion wouldn't be liked, but surprisingly we were split 60%-40% (I was on the 60% side).  We discussed a little and were able to come to a consensus quickly.  All the jurors were pretty happy about that because it was past 6:30pm on a Friday.

Personally I was relieved with our decision.  To be honest had things gone the other direction I may have carried around some guilt for a while.

The big highlight of my day was when the judge read our consensus.  Right as the judge got to that one part, I looked over at the defendant as the last part of the consensus was read and the emotion that washed over him will be forever etched in my mind and my heart.

I don't know about anyone else, but I have no doubt that we made the right decision.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Husband and I realized that after a year of living in Charlottesville, we have made some great friends.  I prayed about it for a long time when we first moved.  It was something I worried about  since I work from home and I was unsure how I would meet people.  I knew it would take time and I just had to be patient, and it turns out I was right.

So last week was Husband's birthday and while considering where to have dinner, we realized there were 10 people we could invite.  10 people we consider friends.

We have friends!  And they are so nice!  And I feel like we fit in, like we're birds of a feather, like we're peas in a pod, like we're bacon in the same pan!

Yes I feel like a nerd saying that but making friends when you're older is tough.  Thankfully we ended up in an awesome neighborhood and that was all God's doing.  If we didn't live here I think our lives would be quite different and we would have missed out on knowing all these really awesome people.

I'm thankful and happy.  

It's a blurry picture but that is a-okay, the happiness shines through. 

Some of the sweet ladies I have met 

In the words of Phil Robertson
happy happy happy

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A print

So one of my favorite people from college emailed me the cutest Etsy print.  She knows about my love of photography and as soon as I opened the email, I knew I had to have it.

Fantastic right?  Did I mention it's only $12?  Yes please.

It's from Etsy seller PigeonEditions.
Etsy Link:

And I saved 10% by using the promocode SPRINGSALE.  So for $13 I'm getting this great 8" x 10" print and shipping.  So although I'm trying to cut my spending, I couldn't pass this up for $13.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Fun and awkward

So my 10 yr high school reunion this weekend was fun and also awkward.  That's exactly what I was expecting.

Excited and nervous - can ya tell? 
Obligatory pose before heading to National Harbor...and before heels

The venue, Fosters at National Harbor, MD, was a good choice.  We were gathered at the end of the pier right on the water and away from the crowds which was nice.

Right on the water baby!  I kept a safe distance from the edge...

Pretty white tents and tables 

Gotta love iPhone apps - Photosynth

The music played was all from the 1999-2003 time period and brought back SO many memories.  I love that music can do that.

Food and drinks - adequate.  I wasn't really drinking so I don't know what drinks were offered or if they were good but apparently the food wasn't great.  That's a bummer because I was hoping for some yummy, fresh seafood.  Oh well.  Guess I'll just have to find some local seafood for my fix.  :)

And the peoples.  It was fun to see people I haven't seen in 10 years, but also awkward because I am not great at keeping in touch.  It was funny because I recognized some people right away but there were others that I did not.  I feel like I fit in the first category, I look exactly the same.  haha - not sure if that's good or bad.

I definitely felt like I was back in high school.  All the latina ladies gathered together, the Asians gathered together, the cheer girls, the Daventry kids, the cool kids.  The cliques are still alive.  Though no one excluded anyone, people definitely flock to the people they know and are comfortable around.  Makes sense, I was doing the same thing.

Being a halfie (half Chinese, half Caucasian) in high school I felt a little like an outsider at times.  I don't speak Chinese or Mandarin so I didn't feel totally comfortable with the Asians.  Which is a shame because they're so cool.  I think that is why I loved band because it was a random mix of people that loved music.  And I am happy that I got to see some band people and catch up on what they're up to.  I didn't get to talk to everyone I wanted but I did get to catch up with a number of people.

What's great is that I'm becoming friends with a girl who I wasn't close with in high school.  And to be honest, seeing her was really awesome.  I'm hoping that I can be better at keeping in touch with her.  :)

In the end I am glad that I went and don't have any regrets.  I do hope that when I do go back and visit Nova I can catch up with more people instead of waiting another 10 years.

Bless my husband's heart for hanging in with me when he didn't know anyone.  He's the best.