|This was Mark waving good-bye to me a few days before he died|
I can't drive past a McDonald's without thinking about his beloved strawberry shakes; or Big Boy without thinking of the time I asked him about the best thing he'd ever eaten (he told me it was a hamburger from Big Boy, and I said that I'd love to take him there when he gets better; he told me, "Oh, no, that's too expensive!" I wish we'd had the chance to go, but he was never well enough.)
Anyway, I couldn't let today pass by without mentioning Mark. Thank you again to all of you that sent him cards, gifts, positives thoughts, and prayers--he felt so special getting all that mail! ;)
You may have noticed that I changed up the front page of my blog to include the five most recent posts, instead of just one. I also started truncating the posts--and let me apologize for that. I really dislike truncated posts, because it's so much easier when you can read full posts in a reader or an email! (When it's truncated, you have to click "read more" to get the full post.)
However, my content has been getting stolen more and more frequently (had to deal with a big mess again a couple of days ago), and truncating the posts helps prevent people being able to copy the entire post from an email. Also, when people pin things from my blog posts to Pinterest, if it's not pinned directly from my blog itself, the link from Pinterest will direct people somewhere else--Bloglovin', for example. I've come across several pins that should link to my blog, but they don't.
So, if you receive my posts via email, you'll still get the email--you'll just have to click the link to read the full post if you wish. That's the only way I can think of right now to prevent that stuff from happening.
This morning, I had plans to meet Stephanie for a 10-mile run at the State Park. Jerry and I had to leave for his friend's memorial service at 11, so Steph and I met early at 7:30, right after the sun came up. Steph hadn't run 10 miles since November, when she did the Monroe Half Marathon, but I promised her we'd go at her pace and walk if needed. She said it would be 11:30-12:00 pace, which was fine with me!
It was colder than I anticipated, and I was really glad that I ran back in the house to get gloves before heading to the park. I wished I'd grabbed warmer ones, because my hands never did warm up throughout the run. We did a lollipop route, starting at the very top of the lollipop. Despite being a little cold, it was a great morning for a run!
The miles went by really quickly (for me, anyway) because we were chatting the whole time. I love having company on long runs! We took a quick walk break a couple of times, but other than that, Stephanie was actually running a great pace. I think the talking was distracting her from the fact that she was running sub-11 miles ;)
I really can't believe how fast the run went by; before I knew it, we were back at our cars. It was a great run! I was expecting 12-minute miles, but we finished with about an 11:00 average. And I burned more than 80 calories per mile, which made me happy (lately, it's been in the 70's for my calories per mile! One of the downsides of losing weight...)
Steph said she had something for me, and oh, boy--she sure knows how to make me a happy girl! Yesterday was her son's birthday, and they had cookie cake to celebrate. She brought me a leftover piece of cookie cake that she'd actually decorated with frosting, just for me! I knew exactly where those 828 calories I burned were going...
I brought it home and shared it with Jerry and the kids (it was actually a really large piece!), so I only ate a quarter of it, that I estimated at 420 calories. It was homemade, and much better than Mrs. Fields! (Thank you Steph!)
Then I had to get ready to head to the memorial service. Jerry and I rarely get dressed up (just for weddings and funerals, really), so I got to wear a dress that I'd never actually worn before. I bought this dress at a garage sale in 2013. It still had the tags on it ($80 from Express), but the zipper was broken. I'm pretty handy with a sewing machine, so I bought the dress for a couple of bucks and hoped I'd be able to fix it. I did, and was thrilled! However... it was too small.
The dress is a size 4, and when I changed out the zipper, I ended up making it just a tiny bit smaller by accident. But I held on to it, hoping that one day I'd be able to wear it. I decided today was the day, so I tried it on--and it fit! It was a tight squeeze around my rib cage, but I love it. It makes my waist look tiny (you can't really tell from this picture, but it's a flattering dress).
It's strapless, and that didn't really feel appropriate to wear to a memorial service, so I threw a shrug on over it. Jerry and I cleaned up pretty nicely ;)
The memorial was much different than I was expecting. It wasn't at a funeral home, but at a banquet hall. They had a delicious lunch and an open bar. There were a TON of people there--it was actually difficult to move around because of the crowd. Jerry's friend was clearly well-liked by a lot of people!
Several people have been asking how Jerry's dealing with his friend's death, and he's doing good. We had a long talk yesterday afternoon over a glass of wine, and it felt nice to have a real, grown-up conversation. Jerry told me all sorts of fun stories about his friend, and it made me wish that I'd met him. We talked in-depth about suicide and even that was a good conversation to have, because so few people talk about it. It's an uncomfortable subject, but it affects so many peoples lives in one way or another that it really should be talked about more often.
On the way home from the memorial, I thought a lot about Mark. Despite the sad moments of today being the anniversary of Mark's death, and the memorial of Jerry's friend, it was a nice day. I've been feeling very grateful lately for the time I get to spend with Jerry!
I hope everyone has a nice Easter tomorrow :)