Archive for July, 2012
July 31, 2012
Scott and I spent the majority of last weekend surrounded by sports. Taking a few hours hiatus from watching the Olympic Games, we headed over to Winter Springs to attend my niece and nephews’ swim meet.
We had one heck of a morning before we got there…
What started with a 5 a.m. Saturday airport pick-up call later turned into cleaning up after a sick kitty and an exploding bathroom faucet. Happy Saturday!
By the time we got to the pool we were happy to sit back and relax – as much as we could – in the Florida heat.
“Because You’re Good At It”
Have you ever been convinced to follow through with something, just because you have been told you are good at it? Whether it’s an extra curricular activity, a sport, or even a hobby, I would guess more than a handful of you have experienced this at one time or another.
For me, it’s blogging. Kidding! I love it… clearly.
Growing up, I would have to say it was playing the piano for me. Although I loved playing, I absolutely despised practicing. My mother would pretty much have to beg me to put in a few hours a week to understand, read, and play new music.
I liked playing the piano, I just didn’t have a desire to get better – which was a huge problem. I played for a few years in elementary school because “I had the perfect piano hands,” referring to my extra long and lean fingers. I had no problem playing the songs I knew, but never once enjoyed learning new material.
Eventually, I gave it up. I then focused all of my time and dedication to dance, which turned out to be a great decision.
There were definitely times I wanted to give that up as well, but pushed myself through countless auditions, competitions, long 18-hour days, and tiring rehearsals. Year after year, I moved through different opportunities in dance, starting with three years of performing in The Nutcracker, then competing on my college dance team, and eventually dancing four years professionally in the NBA.
Sometimes, it is worth all of the hard work. Who knew? ;)
While at the swim meet this weekend, my sister asked me to encourage my niece, Kayla, to keep swimming. The following shots were taken by a friend of ours back in 2010, but she looks just as adorable swimming today!
Photo Credit: Lauren Watai Photography
Kayla is one of the best on her team and has done really well in almost every single meet she competes in. Although it seems like she has a knack for it, her heart isn’t always into it and often mentions other activities to my sister she wants to try.
The latest request is jazz dancing. Considering my dance background, of course I am all on board for this idea!
Kayla also tried cheerleading last year, and although she has already caught on to basic tumbling skills in a short amount of time, she doesn’t like to yell or cheer. My opinion is at least the dance classes will help with cheer and dance choreography, which would also give her a chance to keep at it a little longer.
My sister thinks jazz might be a waste of time for her. Instead, she really wants her to focus on swimming, since she seems to be “good at it.”
Photo Credit: Lauren Watai Photography
At the end of the meet, the Tiger Sharks (their team) were announced the winners and my sister asked me to encourage Kayla to sign up for swimming again. I was happy to, but I’m not sure how happy she was to hear it from yet another person.
The “Because you’re good at it” phrase also got me thinking about Michael Phelps, while watching a documentary about his training from 2008 until now. After winning an incredible 14 Gold Medals in the Olympics, he first announced he wasn’t going to be competing in the 2012 London Games. A year later, he changed his mind and began to train for his next go at the Olympic Games.
Did he get burnt out?
Does he really want to win more Gold Medals, or does he feel like he should compete again, because he is obviously a little better than “good at it”?
It looks as though this will be the end of his Olympic career when mid-August comes around. Phelps has made it pretty clear that this is his last go around.
Training so hard, every single day, year after year, I totally understand why he would want to move on. I respect him for trying his best in this year’s Games and would still be a huge fan of his if he didn’t win another medal. He is SO close to breaking the world record though, it would be a shame for him not to do it.
Hmmm. I wonder if that thought would convince him to compete in one more Olympic year? I guess only time will tell.
Questions of the Day
• Have you ever stuck with something because you were told you are good at it? What sport or activity was it?
• Looking back at where the time and dedication took you, would still have made the decision to stick with it?
July 30, 2012
This weekend flew by and was packed with cleaning, baking, family time, swim meets and sports. Okay, not just sports, the Olympics.
With the 2012 London Games officially underway, Scott and I will be found checking in and watching any kind of sport, as often possible.
We are still plenty productive, but had the games on in the background of whatever we were doing almost the entire weekend.
The following picture depicts I was doing while writing this post to the tee, as well as how I spend most of my Sundays working. For this particular Sunday afternoon, the Olympics served as the main backdrop for working, folding laundry, putting together today’s barre class, you name it.
My favorites to watch include gymnastics, swimming, and basketball, but I become quickly intrigued with any kind of sport at that level.
The only one I skip over is boxing. I still have respect for how hard those competitors work to get where they are, but I just can’t bring myself to enjoy any kind of fighting event.
Would it then surprise you to know I still have not seen any of the Rocky movies? Yes, I am serious. I have caught a few minutes here and there of the series when one of the movies is playing on television, but that’s it. Boxing and fighting is just too much for me to handle. And what is with the cauliflower ears?! No offense to anyone suffering from this, but if there is any reason why people think that is okay and “just part of the job” it is beyond me.
Let the Games Begin
Who is excited to finally bust out her London 2012 Games t-shirt Scott brought home from his recent trip overseas? This girl!
I have always grown up watching the Olympics, but would mostly turn into the sports I was only interested in back then, which were gymnastics and figure skating. I remember the alleged 1994 Tonya Harding attack on Nancy Kerrigan, followed by the Nancy Kerrigan/Oksana Baiul Olympics drama later that year.
Back then, I also wanted to BE Dominique Moceanu – the 1996 Women’s Gymnastics Olympic Champion.
C’mon, if you are anywhere around my age you know you tried bangs because of her… She certainly was a role model for me!
It wasn’t until 2008 until I really tuned into more of the games. Scott was actually a part of that year’s entertainment and performed as a mascot in the 2008 Beijing Games!
There he is, showing off some dunking skills in yellow as Ying-Ying. Crazy right? You just never know what to expect with that guy.
Since he was a part of the games, I dove right into anything I could catch on the television broadcast, then started to really enjoy and appreciate each different sport.
Did anybody watch the badminton games? I had no idea that game could get so intense. And, although I missed it, I quickly saw via Twitter how hardcore the handball competition got.
These athletes are no joke!
Last night I stayed up wayyy past my bedtime to watch the end of Women’s Gymnastics. They ALL amaze me. Whether they lean, wobble, step out of bounds, or straight up fall, I am utterly impressed by each and every one of those girls. I do feel for Jordyn Weiber though. She is incredibly talented, trained so hard to earn a an almost expected Gold Medal, and her disappointment was clear after she didn’t get one of the two spots in the All-Around final.
Of course, the main story that has peeked my interest is in swimming: Michael Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte. After watching the race Saturday morning, this photo pretty much sums up how the event went.
It’s okay, Michael – we still love you, (and your abs!)
It was great to see the two work together in last night’s relay race. Although USA got 2nd, I still say nothing about competing in the Olympics is losing.
If you follow me for the next thirteen days, you will most likely see me comment and possibly post a bit more about these exciting 2012 Olympic Games. I just can’t get enough of them!
Questions of the Day
• What are your favorite Olympic Sports to watch?
• Do you have must-see events, or just tune into whatever is on at the moment?
July 27, 2012
I have been craving all types of soups lately. A favorite of both Scott and I’s is corn chowder. When browsing around for recipes to test out, I didn’t find anything that sounded exactly right.
Taking a little bit of this ingredient and a little bit of that spice from all different chowders, I somehow concocted what turned out to be some of the best I’ve had.
The only way this would have tasted better is to have a little bit of diced bacon, but I decided to keep in vegetarian. I made the lack of meat up with throwing in a ton of colorful, hearty vegetables into the mix. I was pleasantly full after one serving and can’t wait for Scott to try it when he gets back in town tomorrow!
Healthy Vegetarian Corn Chowder
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp celery, finely diced
2 tbsp yellow onion, finely diced
2 tbsp green pepper, finely diced
2 tbsp red pepper, finely diced
2 tbsp carrot, finely diced
1 package frozen whole kernel corn (10-12 oz.)
1 cup diced raw gold potatoes (4-5 baby potatoes)
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 cup water
2 tbsp flour
2 cups low-fat or skim milk
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 30 minutes
1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan, then add celery, onion, carrot, peppers, and saute for 2 minutes.
2. Add corn, potatoes, water, salt, pepper, and paprika. Bring to a boil.
3. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and cook covered for 10 minutes. Make sure potatoes are soft.
4. Place 1/2 cup milk in a jar, or any closed container with a tight fitting lid. Add flour and shake quickly.
5. Add mixture to cooked vegetables, then add the remaining milk.
6. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Serve garnished with chopped fresh parsley.
Lots of ingredients, but little instruction:
Saute and Soften.
Cook, Boil, and Stir.
Garnish and Serve.
Have a great weekend everyone!
July 26, 2012
By now, I’m pretty sure you know who our adopted fur-child of a son is…
Roadie is part Rhodesian Ridgeback, part hound (we think). He is around two and a half years old and has been part of the Hesington family for the last year and half.
I’ve never really gone into detail on this blog about how we ended up with a dog in our condo, so I’ll give you the cliff notes version:
• We found him wandering in the parking lot on a cold, rainy winter night in December of 2010.
• We took him in for the “night only,” gave him a bath the next day and put up fliers up all around the neighborhood to find his owner.
• After a week with no response, we called around and finally took him to the vets. During that visit we updated his shots and found out he had heart worm, hook worm, and skin irritations.
• He had been well behaved, he got along with our cats and it was then and there that we decided to keep him and name him Roadie.
Here’s an old look back to just a few weeks after we took him in, when we still called him “Pup.” As you can see, we didn’t really plan on keeping him, but that’s just how it worked out. Oh, and sorry for the scattered video and long exit… I was still getting used to filming myself ramble back in 2010.
That’s our Roadie.
He did always follow us around you know…
He’s such a good dog. We weren’t sure we were ready to take on the responsibility of having a dog when we got him, but he really has made the process pretty easy… except for an occasional unexpected expense or incident.
Regardless – if Scott and I would have gone out to seek the perfect dog for us, it would have definitely been something close to this big ball of fury.
Anyone who has a dog knows exactly what I’m talking about when I say his personality is very human like. He sighs, yawns, stares, raises eyebrows and looks for any way to talk to us with body language. What I still can’t figure out is what triggers his protective instincts. We try to teach him who and what is okay to be around our house and front door, but he still seems to go straight into “attack mode” at any sign of a doorbell, footstep or elevator chime.
Roadie is actually pretty intimidating to most strangers, maintenance staff, or anyone in any kind of delivery uniform.
When he is unsure of a a noise, person or situation he is not shy in letting us know about it. If he hears the slightest thing at any time of the day, he will jump up and charge the front door – and he can open them. Our front door is always locked, but if it wasn’t he would then continue to open it and charge whoever is on the opposite side.
He does not play around when it comes to being protective, which I guess is a good thing when Scott’s out of town.
I got home from the studio around 11 a.m. yesterday, hopped in the shower and only had enough time to throw on a quick coverup to answer the doorbell. After missing both a delivery from FedEx and UPS the day before, I was not about to get another missed opportunity to get my packages.
Eventually, I made it to the front door and when I opened it the poor FedEx delivery man was hiding behind the wall of the trash chute directly across from our door. He left the package on the doorstep and was waiting to see if I answered the door, making sure to keep a good distance at all times.
I’ve seen this man a few times and each time he asks, “Why does he hate me SO much?” Each time I assure him it’s nothing personal – it’s his dark uniform, hat and big boxes that Roadie doesn’t agree with. Here was a grown man well into his thirties afraid of precious little ‘ol Roadie.
But don’t let those puppy eyes fool you…
I later took Roadie out for his afternoon walk around 3:30 p.m. We walked down to the neighborhood lake where I usually let him roll around in the grass and even dip his feet in every now and then. We always seem to have impeccable timing with UPS and wouldn’t you know as soon as we made it down to the lake, there goes the big brown delivery truck zipping by us.
Knowing this was one of the only opportunities I had to both get my package and get Roadie to do his business, I encouraged him to go quickly and knew we had to make a run for it. Luckily, the UPS delivery man had a stop right across from where we were and I was able to ask him if he had any packages for the condos next door.
“Yes… Heather right?” Wow. I had talked to him once before in the same situation – asking him if he had a package for our place while on a walk outside with Roadie – but didn’t expect him to know who I was or recall my name.
“I remember that dog,” he went on to say. As soon as those words came out of his mouth, Roadie stood up on his hind legs and barked his head off at him. Something about delivery men really get him worked up.
Needless to say, there we were in the middle of the road, trying to figure out how to safely deliver this package to me. I finally got Roadie to calm down, sit and just as the FedEx man had just done before, he left the package and the signature pad for me to sign alone, while backing away and sliding behind the truck.
I guess you could say Roadie is a little bit of a trouble maker…
Being the man of the house while Scott’s traveling, I can’t really complain about his protective side coming out. It’s very appreciated that he wants to watch over the house and take care of his momma. I just wish there was somewhere in the middle of incredibly sweet and mellow to hell on wheels! What are we going to do with you Mr. Roadie?
Taking him into our home just a year and a half ago was one of the best things that could have happened during a year of uncertainty for Scott and I. Although having a dog is a huge responsibility, the benefits outweigh the negatives by a million to one.
Whenever I’m having a rough day, I go lay on the floor next to Roadie, scratch his belly and get his toys out for playtime. I think I enjoy those fifteen minutes of distraction just as much as he does.
Question of the Day
Do you have your own “Guard Dog on Duty” or any funny stories about him/her? Do Share!