Good vibrations

Everyone who knows me knows that I love coffee. And most everyone knows my favorite coffee is from Caribou. My drink of choice is usually a small latte with a shot of vanilla. On occasion I'll get a mint condition, a vanilla coffee cooler or even the plain coffee of the day, but 9 times out of 10 I want my vanilla latte. Some of the baristas even know that that's my drink of choice. Today however, I tried something new and I have fallen in love to the point that I may be cheating on my latte a little more often. Medium white chocolate cold press = pure bliss. It was a "Monday special" today and I thought, heck why not. I'll give it a go. I'm still in a happy caffiene nirvana right now. Heaven. I figure this is good, it's nice to have a cold option for summer and while coffee coolers are yummy - they are rather filling and rich (i.e. also many calories) and this was refreshing and different. I am in love.

Speaking of love, I sang at a wedding at my old church this weekend. It was hard to do it, I had not set foot in the sanctuary since I walked out of mass on February 15th. Before arriving I felt very sick, but during the wedding I relaxed a little. It wasn't so bad and as the bride was coming down the aisle, I started thinking about my own wedding in this very space. I thought, I don't want to only focus on the bad about this place, this is still the place that I got married, pledged my love and devotion for my husband in front of family, friends and God, and it would be unfortunate to only think of the negative things about that place. So, while I am still sad about the way things played out, and feel sad that bad things are still happening there, I am also trying hard to remember the good times and realize that no matter what happens, the most important event in my life took place there and nothing will ever take that away from me. And I'm in a better place now, so I have to feel good about that as well.

So there you go, two good feelings for a Monday. I hope you all have good feelings today too.


Life is short

So I have so many things I want to blog about and I just don't even know where to start -

I could blog about how I will be stepping foot into my old church for the first time in four months tomorrow. (Singing at a wedding)

I could blog about how my belated anniversary present has finally been ordered. (more explanation really is due on this and it will come)

I could also blog about my weekend plans, crazy things going on at work and so many other things.

But I'm distracted today. It's hard to focus on those things for the moment. I am blaming the fact that yesterday we were reminded not just once, but twice, how precious and short life is and that it can be taken away at a moment's notice.

I was sad to hear of Farrah Fawcett's passing. I was not necessarily a fan or anything like that, but I did follow her heartbreaking cancer journey and I do find the death to be rather tragic. She fought with every ounce she could, but that horrible disease won out in the end. I commend her for being so brave to share her story with the world the way that she did.

What is affecting me more right now is the fact that Michael Jackson passed away. I was a little floored by this. Again, was I a huge fan? No. Did I agree with the majority of the population that he was an odd duck and rather messed up? Yep. But, as a child of the 80's I totally remember his glory days and his music was a soundtrack in my life growing up - you couldn't turn on MTV or VH1 without seeing his videos. He was everywhere back then. And I do believe he had an amazing talent.

It's just strange to think he was planning this big comeback and now is no longer with us. I feel sad for his children and really just sad about the entire situation as I think he was pretty messed up. It's just a shame that his life had to end so abruptly like this.

So, those are the thoughts consuming my head today. We should all learn the lesson of living each moment as our last, because you just never know when it might all be over. So readers, tell someone you love them, get off your computer and go do something with friends or family. Smile more. Above all else, simply LIVE.


Been so busy lately I didn't notice

My life has been so crazy busy lately that I didn't notice that it has now been TWO months since I have picked at my fingers and I have to tell you - I don't even think about it anymore! I'm so pleased with myself and am continually glad that I finally broke the habit. Before I know it I'm sure I'll be announcing on here that it's been a whole year, because I will make it that far!


Rockin Weekend

This year, Nate and I have started listening to the local station, 89.3 The Current, just because it's a bit different from mainstream radio and we like alot of indie music which they happen to play. The Current puts on an outdoor concert at the Walker Art Center each year called Rock the Garden (since it's sort of near the Sculpture Gardens). When I heard the headliner was the group The Decemberists, I knew it would be the perfect anniversary present for Nate. He loves the Decemberists. I remember him saying he would like to see them live sometime, so I jumped at the opportunity to do this for him.

The concert was this past Saturday and while we were a little nervous going in because we had never really been to something like this before and didn't know what to expect, we ended up having a blast. The gates opened around 3:00 pm, we headed in and found ourselves a lovely patch of grass at the base of the hill facing the stage, spread a blanket and chilled out. Well, more like fried out, it was a bright sunny day. Thank goodness for sunscreen! After a little while Ali came with a few of her friends and they camped out on some grass not far from us.

The first band was the local group Solid Gold and I loved them! We ended up buying their CD. I really hope these guys go places, they are super good. They played for about 45 minutes. We decided to grab a little snack to munch on. It was here we discovered the one downside to the event - all of the food was super expensive. But we managed to share a few things throughout the evening. The next group to take the stage was Yeasayer - I thought they were ok, not my favorite. After that was the group Calexico, who I enjoyed a bit more.

Finally it was 8:30 and the highlight of the evening - the Decemberists took the stage and they were SO unbelievably awesome!!! They performed their entire album "Hazards of Love" which is kind of a rock opera and it was amazing to hear it live. The female singers they have for this special album are just incredible. The entire energy of the performance just blew me away. After they finished that set they played a few more of their other songs which were also fun to rock out to. They closed the show by bringing the girls back out to sing Heart's "Crazy for You" which again, just blew me away! Because of noise ordanance and such there was a strict 10:00 end time on the music, which was a bummer because I could've watched these guys all night!

No pictures from the event sadly. I didn't drag a camera along. The good news though is, I will soon be adding pictures on a regular basis hopefully as my replacement anniversary gift from Nate will be a new small sized digital camera. I'll tell that story in another post though as I'm sure you're all scratching your heads saying "replacement gift?"

The rest of the weekend was full of singing for two masses at St. William's church with the Praise Project and Father's Day. It went well at the church, it sounds like we might be asked back so that would be pretty awesome. Then we had both of our families over to our house for a barbeque. We ended up mostly hanging out inside though since the weather really did not cooperate. Still, it was nice to enjoy the company of both of our immediate families. Then Nate and I more or less crashed since we were going, going, going all weekend. Things are calming down considerably now, nothing major scheduled for the next couple of weeks, so we're going to enjoy a nice breather!


And you shall hearby be called...

I have taken into consideration some suggestions along with some of my own thoughts and I have come up with a new name for the blog.

Welcome to:

Harmonious Chaos...Our Crazy, Busy, Beautiful Life!

It fits. We're busy, we're crazed, but you know what? I love our life. And I love the life Nate and I are creating together. So there you go.

Thanks to those who sent suggestions, I'll try some other reader participation type things in the future.

Speaking of our crazy, busy, beautiful life - this weekend is another busy one for us! Tomorrow we go to the Rock the Garden concert at the Walker Art Center, Sunday we sing at two masses at St. Williams with Praise Project and it's Father's Day and we decided to have both families over for a picnic. So we'll be a little crazed, but it should all be fun!

Oh a note - you will still access this blog through the same url: http://bethandnate.blogspot.com

Hope everyone enjoys what's to come!


Never a dull moment

I tell you if it's not one thing it's another sometimes!

So we're having our new furnace and air conditioner installed this week. They started yesterday and will finish today. Everything has been going relatively smoothly save for one bump in the road last night.

We had a practice at St. William's last night because we're singing there this weekend for the first time. After we were done somewhat early, Nate decided to go to his friend Matt's to play nerd games for awhile. My parents invited me out for a drink so I said, sure why not, if Dad pays, I won't turn it down! So, we hit La Casita and headed home around 10:00. My parents dropped me off and then drove off when I got in the door.

I stood there for a second and realized "um, it smells like gas in here." Actually, my first thought was "it smells like those scratch and sniff stickers they used to give us in elementary school that said something about if you ever smell this, leave immediately." Anybody remember those stickers? Anyway, it took me a minute to register that this is probably not a good thing so I set my stuff down and did something you are really not supposed to do - took out my cell phone and called Nate. I just was in a panic mode, thinking, ok they worked on the furnace today, what happened here?? I called Nate who's like "um get out of the house right now and call Centerpoint Energy" I'm like "I don't have the number!" starting to get a bit hysterical, but Nate calmly replied "call 411 and ask for Centerpoint's emergency line, I'll be there in a little bit." So I pulled myself together and sat in the car and called them. They dispatched someone right away. Now, the cats were fine, they greeted me at the door and everything, but I still was worried, it just smelled so strong.

After I hung up with Centerpoint it dawned on me that I should probably call my dad, he might want to let the contractors know about this. If I had been smart and called my dad's cell as soon as I figured out it smelled, he could've turned around and came back, but I just wasn't that smart in my crazy panic mode. So I called dad, he said he was calling our contractor and if I needed him to come over he would. I said Nate was on his way so he said to just call if I needed him. Not five minutes later he called back and said "you know what, I'm coming over."

Everyone pretty much arrived at the same time. It turns out, we have a very old oven that has a standing pilot light. When the gas was shut off yesterday, the pilot went out which caused the gas smell. So fortunately, it wasn't anything serious. I ended up feeling kind of silly about the whole thing, but both Nate and my dad said I did the right thing and that the contractors should've checked those things when they turned the gas back on. So we opened all the windows and aired everything out and then got to bed, where I proceeded to lay awake because of the adrenaline! Needless to say, coffee was appreciated on a new level this morning.

I tell you, sometimes our life is never boring. In other news, I have to publicly thank my husband a thousand times over - I have been messing with the layout of the blog here to try and personalize it and prepare it for it's new name change (which I'm narrowing in on a title and I'm pretty excited about it) and I lost some stuff which made the blog look funny. My super awesome computer geek husband figured out how to fix it and for that I am SUPER grateful! Thank you honey, you are the best!!!


My first job

As I drove to work this morning, I took the route that takes me past the high school since school is now out for the summer. I was unaware that the program "Summer Academy" was starting up already. Fortunately this did not disrupt my commute too badly. I could not help but laugh and reflect though when I saw the workers wearing their orange vests and helping folks cross the street.

Why did this make me laugh and reflect you ask? Because my first "real" job was working for Summer Academy. What's so funny about it? Let me tell you the story.

It was the summer of 1998 and I was old enough to get a summer job. I was going to be driving soon and figured having a little extra money would not be a bad thing. Nate was going to be gone working for boy scout camp all summer, so I also figured I would need the distraction so I wouldn't miss him as much. I thought about working at a grocery store or a nearby department store and even applied a couple of places with no nibbles. I was lamenting about that fact when I was at Nate's parents house for dinner and his mom mentioned that Ali was going to apply at Summer Academy and possibly work as a student aide there for the summer. I decided that didn't sound so bad, it wasn't even the whole summer, but would be enough to make a little extra money and give me something to do.

Ali and I went to a joint interview and then were called within a day or two and offered positions. My mom volunteered to drive us each day. We were all set. Then we were told we could come in the weekend before and get some extra hours in helping with set up. That was the Worst.Weekend.Ever. We did nothing but move desks, chairs, heavy boxes, we're pretty sure we were breaking child labor laws, especially when Ali was only 14 at the time. I just remember being exhausted, sore and wondering what I had gotten myself into. We also figured out pretty quickly that her and I were a minority - almost every other student worker was the child of a staff member for the program. In fact, we were given pretty much the grunt work while the other kids got to goof off.

Once the program actually began things got a little better, except that we were kind of just "runners", we weren't assigned to any specific classroom or area. There was a guy, we'll call him "B", who pretty much did not like us from day one and if he saw us standing around, would give us extremely awful jobs like sorting the Summer Academy t-shirts. There were 100s of t-shirts in varying sizes and no organization as to how each student was going to receive one. We also had to wear orange vests and help direct traffic in the mornings so no students or parents were flattened by school busses. I remember we were told to pretty much stand in the parking lot and say "please use the crosswalk."

One day a nice lady who I think was named Bev found us and said she needed help in the supply room. Suddenly we had a job! She was a nice lady and had us sort supplies each day and gave us Peanut Butter M&M's as a snack. So after our crossing guard duty each day we'd go to Bev's room. We'd help her bring things in from her car, we'd deliver things to classrooms. It seemed to be a great arrangement. Except it seemed that whenever we'd be walking back to her room from a classroom, "B" would see us and think we were just wandering around "goofing off."

After two weeks, we were called into the head of the program's office. She thanked us for all that we had done and then went on to say something about how many student workers they had and because of that "today would be our last day." Now mind you, the program was only scheduled to go another week. Ali and I looked at each other and were kind of like, oh um, ok.

We walked out of the office and I said "did we just get fired?" and Ali's like "I think so." And then we burst out laughing. We went and said goodbye to Bev who was sad to see us go, she even had a project she wanted to give us, but we knew why were leaving, we're sure "B" said something to the boss that he thought we were just messing around. And since we were not staff member's children, of course we were getting the boot. In all due fairness though, Nate and Ali's aunt Annie was a teacher in the program, but apparently that was not good enough.

I filled up the rest of that summer with babysitting as a source of income and moved on to other part time jobs later on, that in truth weren't much better, but at least I was never fired again! I still laugh when I look back on it, because really, it is pretty funny when you think about it. I heard that some years later the head of the program passed away. I can't help but wonder if "B" took it over from her!


More changes!

I'm trying out a new template or two this week as I prepare to shift to a new name for the blog. Feel free to give me feedback as I do so - today's template is a music themed one since music is such a big part of our lives!

Change is good, at least, I hope so!


Soap box moment

I just need to climb up on my soap box for a moment. But first let me set the stage a bit here.

One of my favorite music stores and a place that Nate and I used to frequent alot, especially in our "dating years" has closed. Cheapo was just kind of always there and while their new CDs were a wee bit spendy, if you could find something used you could get a great deal. Before it was a Cheapo it was a place called Great American Music and I remember going there with my parents and buying records. Yes, I am old enough to remember records, I grew up when CD players were first introduced and of course was born long before the whole digital music craze. But that's not what this post is about.

I had noticed that recently Cheapo had reduced their hours, they used to be open 9:00 am to midnight 365 days a year. Within the last year they cut back to being open only until 9:00 pm. I also know that music stores in general are suffering due to the popularity of iTunes, Amazon MP3 and the like. But, whenever we'd still pop in to Cheapo over the last couple of years there still was always people in there. And sometimes, I will admit, I still like to have a copy of an actual CD in my hand instead of just downloading it. But I'm guessing I'm becoming a minority there.

So I was driving home from work one day earlier this week and I always pass by Cheapo en route to my home. As I drove by, I noticed huge trailers and trucks in the parking lot and they were being loaded up with what I can only guess is the merchandise from the store, because as I could kind of see into the building, it was empty! Every day since I have driven by and more trailers have been there and it looks even more bare. What's more shocking? We were just there a couple of weeks ago and there was no notice of them closing down. I am sure they moved their stock over to another location because when I went to their website, they still list St. Paul and Minneapolis locations, but Fridley is gone. No mention of it anywhere.

So now that I've given you some background I'll climb up on my soap box to rant a bit. Here is what is upsetting me right now. Yesterday on my way home I saw a sign in the parking lot that they will likely be putting up and it says "Future home of Auto Zone". Excuse me??? My beloved music store is being replaced by yet ANOTHER auto place? I guess we didn't have enough auto places along Central Avenue yet!! (Sarcasm)

If you are not familiar with this area, let me help you out here, there is a tire store or auto parts store on practically every corner for about a 3 mile stretch through Columbia Heights and part of Fridley on Central Avenue/Hwy 65. It just seems like every decent establishment that is shut down lately is replaced by another stinking auto place. I'm no expert on this stuff, but is this a field that really needs that much competition around each other? Is the auto business booming enough that they can't keep up with the demand in our small little suburb that they need more places for people to buy tires? I just don't understand. I just know that I am seriously tired of places that I have enjoyed going being shut down and replaced with this garbage. It's ridiculous. Hey City of Columbia Heights (or Fridley I guess since I believe Cheapo was technically in Fridley city limits), would you like to explain this to me?

I will get down off my soap box now. Nothing I can do but mourn the loss of Cheapo and remember the good times I spent there!

Remember to submit options to "Name that Blog!" If you prefer to email, please contact me at muppetmusic22@gmail.com. Thanks!


Name that blog

Hello readers!

I've been thinking alot about this over the past few days and I'd like to re-name this blog. It's still about Nate and me and our lives together, but there are many times I like to blog about other topics too. I just love to write and share my thoughts with whoever is finding them interesting - and I know that people read this blog because I have this cool little site meter thing that tells me so. Yep that's right, you stalk me, I stalk you. Ok I'm kidding really. It doesn't tell me much more than what city people are reading from, but still, it let's me know that someone out there finds my writing interesting!

At any rate, I feel that this blog has become more than just "the life and times of the Kondricks" as it is titled right now and I really feel like changing it. This is not to say that I won't continue bringing you posts about Nate and myself and our life together, but it will free me up to write about other things, current events, my thoughts on various things in this crazy world we live in and not feel like it doesn't really "fit" here for some reason.

What I'm asking is if you're so inclined - send me suggestions! I'll be brainstorming myself as well, but thought I'd at least tap my readers to see if anything strikes you based on what you've read here. There's this little thing at the bottom of each entry that says "comments". Click there to leave a suggestion or to even just say hello. You can remain completely anonymous, that's fine. Once I've gathered a few suggestions and racked my own brain for ideas, I'll post them here and we'll have a little vote.

Sound fun? Reader participation. All the cool kids are doing it! I'll accept suggestions through next Friday, June 19th. So here we go!


A little of this, a little of that

Our lives have been so crazy busy lately, yet I don't have anything all that exciting to blog about. So instead, here's just a little peak at what we've been up to lately.

Nate made homemade bagel dogs one day last week. If you don't know what bagel dogs are, they are these bagel type bread stuffed with a cheddarwurst hot dog. He used to get them from Schwans when he lived at his parents house, but seeing how spendy that would be, decided to attempt to make them from scratch. They turned out awesomely! I am hoping to get him to blog about the process on our food blog at some point since I really didn't help make them so I couldn't tell you all the things he did. But I can tell you - they are delicious!

We are moving forward on getting ready to have a new furnace/air conditioner system installed. There are deals out there that are just too good to resist and we will save money on energy bills once this is complete. I have to thank my parents, especially my dad for getting alot of the leg work done on getting this going and for helping us make this possible right now instead of waiting another couple of years.

Nate has brewed a new batch of beer. This will be the first new batch we've had in a couple of months actually. He's brewing a pale ale, it'll be a nice light beer for the summer months ahead. It's hard to believe he's been doing this now for almost a year! I cannot believe all of the different types of beer we've had!

Very soon my mother in law, sister in law and myself will be making our jam - which I think is going to be an annual Kondrick women tradition in June. We did it last year and it was fun and well received by those we shared it with! It helps that we have a ton of rhubarb at our house to work with!

This coming Saturday we're attempting to once again have some of our friends over for beer and bonfire fun. We were supposed to do this in May, but that is when Nate became ill, so it did not happen. I've looked ahead and the weather looks fantastic for Saturday, so now we just have to remain healthy!

Our Praise Project music group is singing at our first masses at St. Williams, the church that we've most often been attending in about week. Father's Day, June 21st to be exact at the 8:45 and 10:30 masses. We're definitely looking forward to singing for mass again as it has been quite awhile now since doing it. If things go well, I may also become a cantor for St. Williams which I know I would enjoy, but I'm taking it one day at a time for right now!

Other than that we have the day to day of work, making dinner, chores around the house, playing with the kitties, watching shows we've downloaded or I mean, we have found....and that's about it. And you know what? That's enough for now!


What's in a name?

Tomorrow I have my five year reunion from college. Five years really doesn't seem like that much time until I stop and realize all of the things that have happened in the last five years: going through three jobs, getting engaged, getting married, moving out of my parents house, buying a house, deaths of family members, friends getting married, births of friends children...alot of things happened in five short years!

At any rate, I am looking forward to being back on the campus of St. Catherine University. Oh are you confused? Are you saying, now wait a minute Beth, didn't you graduate from the College of St. Catherine? What's this St. Catherine University you speak of?

This week my beloved alma mater officially changed it's name. It is their hope that they will attract a broader, larger base of students and they feel it will keep them current in today's changing world.

I didn't really like this idea when they first announced it. I was kind of feeling like - what's wrong with being a college? And then I started saying, is my education not good enough now because I graduated when it was still just a college and not a university?

But then I was filling out my registration for this weekend's reunion events and there was a question "What comes to mind when you think of your time spent at St. Catherine's? The first thing I thought of was "home". From the day I walked into my first class to my last visit to campus for an alumnae wine tasting event just last February , I always feel like I'm coming home. I made the most of my college experience - singing in choirs, participating in Campus Ministry, pledging the sorority and immersing myself in sisterhood, being an orientation leader and later and Orientation co-coodinator, living on campus my final two years, working in the Student Affairs office and of course the many hours I actually spent in classes. They really were some of the best days of my life.

I have maintained many relationships with friends and have tried to be somewhat active in the alumnae association. I have returned on a couple of occaisions to sing with the Choral Society, a group comprised of students, alums and the community at large. I even took voice lessons from my voice teacher a couple of summers after I graduated. I have never once felt like I didn't belong on campus just because I wasn't a student any longer. I have never felt out of place. It's a community that I love and always will.

A new name will not change that. It will not take away my memories, my relationships or my hard earned degree. A name is just that. A name. My home will always be my home. Nothing will ever take that away.

St. Catherine's University. As Sister Andrea Lee, SCU president was quoted on the day of the unvailing "it has a nice ring to it." And now I say, thank you St. Catherine's for still being a place I can call "home" no matter what your outside gates read.


Some of my favorite things

It's my 50th post! I can't believe it! In honor of the 50th post I bring you one of my world famous lists because I have a lack of inspiration for anything else exciting. Here are 50 of my favorite things. And once again, yes it is a "Beth AND Nate blog" but I am the author and I can do whatever I want, ha ha. I'm really just kidding around. But here are some of my favorites, 50 sounds like alot, but it doesn't take long to scroll through, it's probably shorter than Facebook's 25 random things about me list was! If you ever want to know why I picked these things as my favorite feel free to ask as I am not going to elaborate too much!

50 Favorite Things
Book: My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Movie: My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Television Show: (Of all time) Friends, (current) How I Met Your Mother
Radio station: The Current or Cities 97
Food: Pizza
Fruit: Strawberries
Drink (non-alcoholic): Vanilla latte
Drink (alcoholic): Nate's beer or good wine
Dessert: Oreo related anything (ice cream, pie, etc.)
Singer: Sarah McLachlan
Singing group: Goo Goo Dolls
Muppet: Rowlf the Dog
Color: Purple
Flower: Rose
Animal: Penguin
Vacation destination: Toss up between Disney World and Northern Minnesota (like Duluth area) I know, yin and yang right?
Vegetable: Carrots
Restaurant: changes frequently, right now it's probably Old Chicago
Store: Target
Mall: Maplewood Mall
Soda: Coca Cola (though I pretty much don't drink pop anymore)
Wii Game: Mario Kart
Fast food type place: Chipotle or Potbelly
Coffee shop: Caribou
Day of the week: Friday
Cartoon: either the Pink Panther or anything related to Peanuts
Halfway there! Still reading??
Candy: Cherry Jolly Rancher
Girl Scout cookie flavor: Thin Mint
Type of wine: Riesling or a variety of kinds from MN wineries
Sport: Ha ha, yes I know, Beth doesn't do sports right? But I do enjoy playing a little golf each year.
Ice cream place: Grandpa's in Fridley
Soap: Dove
Toothpaste: Crest
Writing utensil: A blue pen
Quote: "I do not regret the things I have done, but those I did not do" Lucas from Empire Records
Bible saying: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" - Jeremiah 29:11 (always taken great comfort in this one)
Song from church: Toss up between Breathe or Shelter Your Name
Season: Fall
Holiday: Christmas
Form of exercise: Walking
Rainy day activity: Coloring
Chore: Vacuuming
Purse Shoppe: Lillian's (like Fun Sisters if you have heard of that one - sorry, I love purses!)
Summer activity: The State Fair (even if it's at the end of summer)
Number: 3
Smell: Fresh clean laundry
Childhood memory: The first time my parents took me to Disney World and it was combined with a cruise on the Big Red Boat
Childhood toy: My Cabbage Patch Doll named Willie
Article of clothing: Jeans and a hoodie - man I miss the days where I could wear these items everyday!
Job I've ever had: Working at the library
Piece of jewelry: My wedding ring
Person: My husband

There you have it. Maybe you even learned something new about me! At any rate, it was fun, so I hope everyone enjoyed. Stay tuned, this blog isn't ending just because I hit 50 posts!


Be Well Challenge

So today I am starting a five week challenge with my co-workers. Fairview is sponsoring a program called the "Be Well Challenge" encouraging folks to engage in a healthier lifestyle. Now, I don't think I'm not living a healthy lifestyle, but improvements can always be made. So, when one of my co-workers invited me to join her team I said "ok!"

How it works is, you get points each day for doing one of three things. 1. Exercise 30 minutes or more. 2. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables 3. Do a stress relieving activity. You can only earn a maximum of 3 points for doing something from each category. It is on the honor system, but cheating would only be cheating yourself. As a team, we report to Fairview's Wellness dept and the team who earns the most points at the end can win prizes and such. By participating as a group we can encourage each other, share ideas, activities and recipes.

I do work out every morning, but I usually only do about 15 minutes or so. So I will need to try and find time to do at least another 15 minutes in the evening. I really need to work on my fruits and veggies. As far as stress relief goes, I'm living relatively stress free right now and had started working on stress relief activities when I quit picking my fingers (six weeks going strong) so I will just keep that up.

I am asking friends and family to help me out with the fruits/veggies - send me recipes or ideas you have for getting more of them in your diet. I do like to eat salads and a variety of fruits but sometimes it gets boring eating the same old, same old. Also, if anyone is up for an evening walk ever, give me a call!

The challenge is five weeks long, so we'll see how it goes. I am feeling pretty positive though that I will be relatively successful! Wish me luck!