Archive for February, 2011

My weekend has been a weekend or nothingness. I wore my lounging clothes (Target yoga pants and form fitting wife-beaters in a variety of pastel colors) all day every day. I made no plans, wore no make-up and opted to do the grocery shopping Thursday instead of Saturday, thus giving me the food supplies needed to play the part of hermit all weekend long. Yes ladies and gentlemen, for the past 2 days, I was Anne Frank, by choice, and I loved it. There is only so much burning a candle at both ends one girl can do before she collapses and I definitely felt like I was tittering very close to the edge of collapse, so this weekend was my opportunity to recharge. Now thanks to my couple of days of nothingness, my house is clean, the mountain of laundry is no more, my dogs are exercised, my e-mail inbox is almost back in control and the dark and baggy circles under my eyes are about 50% smaller. I feel good and somewhat accomplished for someone who planned to do nothing.

Also this weekend I finally got the opportunity to blog some photos from Sherie and Bobby’s engagement party which took place at the fabulous Tantra Restaurant in Atlanta on Valentines night. Ever since their engagement session back in November, I’ve had such a crush on this couple, seriously. They are 100% themselves, radiant and happy. They smile big, laugh hard and absolutely know how to enjoy themselves. This year is their wedding year and even though they are both buried with work commitments and wedding arrangements, they still took a minute to pause, and celebrate their engagement surrounded by an amazing group of family and friends. And I was honored to be there, capturing the evening and getting the opportunity to meet the people that have helped shaped Sherie and Bobby into the wonderful people they are today, individually and as a couple. I cannot wait for their wedding in October.

The stunning Sherie and her handsome, handsome man, Bobby.

Tantra Restaurant was where the engagement party went down and let me just say what a great job they did. The atmosphere, the layout, the staff and the food were first class all the way.

Romantic and intimate, perfect.

I loved some of Sherie and Bobby’s details. Personalized glasses using a photo from their engagement session, hollla! And Tranta’s personalized menu for the happy couple, major hollla!

A few restaurant details. Trust me, the Husband will be taking me back here for dinner.

Some celebration shots.

Access Denied

February 24, 2011

My plan was to bring my blogging consistency back to the level of frequency it use to enjoy, but as you can see, that didn’t really pan out. Don’t ask me why, but of all the countries I’ve ever had the pleasure of traveling, England is by far the most challenging when it comes to accessing the internet. It blows my mind. I know I’ve blogged my frustrations about this matter before, so let me save you all a deja-vu ear-full and simply move on to the job I was there to do, which was pace the women’s 1500m. Happily, all went well there. In fact, it went better then well, it went worlds fastest time well. Not by me obviously, by the winner. And the rest of the athletes in the field all ended up with either personal bests (PB), national records (NR) or both. A job well done if I do say so myself. And if your interested in checking out the race in its fullest, CLICK RIGHT HERE

Having completed my pace-making duties in Birmingham, I then took the train into London so I could spend a couple of days with a very special man. My almost 2 year old nephew, Evan. In January of this year my brother and his family moved to London and since I’d flown all the way from Atlanta and was practically in the neighborhood, it only made sense that I impose on them a little to see how they were settling into their new lives.

During my stay Evan decided I should be given a tour of his local park. Never mind that it was cold, wet and grey’er than I ever knew a day could be, to him, this was a place that should not be missed. So with a little bundling and a positive outlook, my brother and I took Evan’s tour of the park.

My brother Edward and our little tour guide, Evan.

Evan’s “follow me” face.

Cuteness.

A little wave for all his grandparents back in Ireland.

A chip off the old block


Jolly Old England

February 18, 2011

I arrived to my hotel room resembling something from a Michael Jackson Thriller video. My limbs were ridged and my eyes struggling to stay open. On my overnight flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam to Birmingham, England, I didn’t sleep, not for one second. Don’t ask me why cos I was definitely tired, yet I found myself in a kung fu like grip of the big eye and while my fellow passengers slept and snored, I caught up on my reading and movie watching. Of course, 5 minutes before we landed in Amsterdam, I feel asleep. Typical and definitely not good. Between connecting flights and the drive from Birmingham airport to my hotel, I was still a good 4 hours away from my next opportunity to get any kind of shuteye. Torture. Once I did finally arrived at my room I collapsed like a wet corpse straight onto the bed, clothing still on, right on top of the bedspread. Now I’ve seen the documentary, or maybe I didn’t, maybe I just heard that you should never lie on hotel room bedspreads. Apparently, unlike the sheets, they rarely get changed and are a petri-dish of all things gross. But I was too tired to care or move and I figured as long as I didn’t put it in my mouth, I’d be guaranteed to survive my nap.

But what am I doing in Birmingham, England I hear you yell. Why pace-making of course, the women’s 1500m at the Aviva Indoor Grand Prix. The meet kicks off tomorrow afternoon and my mission between now and the start of the race? Sleep. Lots of it.

And we all know blogs are much more interesting with photos, but unfortunately I slept all afternoon so it was dark and cold by the time I took a stroll out onto the Birmingham streets, so I didn’t really feel the urge to wander too far. I have no idea what this little monument is, but it was light up real pretty.

If I Knew Then

February 16, 2011

I had no idea at the tender age of 7 what kind of life lay ahead for me. All I knew is I could run, fast and I loved it. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine where this gift would take me. The countries I would travel or the people I would met. How I would go from tagging along with my big brother to the local athletic (track) club that trained on a simple grass field just outside our small town, to many years later walking alone onto the world stage at the Olympic Games to compete for my country. Running thought me so much about who I am. It gave a shy child the grounds to build her confidence. Proved that she was tougher than she could ever imagine. Thought her about hard work, commitment and focus. Showed her that pressure could be handled and asses could be handed to her fellow competitors. That defeat, although painful, was part of life but when dealt with and learned from correctly, could be the catalyst for greater things.

Never did I realize that track would be the platform of my independence. Would provide me the ability to buy my first car, my first home, give me the means to indulge in my boot and jeans fetish, allow me to met my future husband and result in my moving to the United States.

However, all of this I had forgotten. I retired from professional track 5 years ago. I’ve long since settled into my new life in the US. Photography is what I do now, with a little pace-making on the side and that chapter of my life felt distant, like a completely different time. That was until yesterday when I opened up an e-mail from a fellow Irish track athlete I haven’t spoken to in a while and in the e-mail he had attached an article from an old Irish track magazine. An article that had a photo, of me at 9 years old, holding a trophy, standing next to my teammates after claiming victory in a 4 x 100m relay for our county, Kildare, at the Irish National Championships. All of a sudden that life wasn’t so distant and the moment captured in that photo, I remember as if it were yesterday. I remember it all. I remember my teammates and my terry cloth Adidas shorts. I remember the race and how I dipped for my life on the finish line to steal victory. I remember the excitement, the celebration. I remember my dad’s beaming smile and triumphant fist pump, he was our coach. I remember how my mother was so nervous prior to the race, she burst the blood vessels on the hand of the lady next to her  she was squeezing so tight. I remember wearing my gold medal around my neck to the fancy restaurant my family and I went to celebrate the victory. I remember it all. Just like it was yesterday and I laugh at how small I was and how that little girl in the photo, smiling shyly as she held the trophy, had absolutely no idea the life that lay ahead of her.

Thank you so much Pierce O’Callaghan for digging up this photo. Its been a bucket of ice water on a life I am guilty of taking for granted. And in case your wondering, I’m the wee girl in the middle of the top photo, holding the shiny trophy.

Love Is Work

February 14, 2011

We’re not exactly your mushy mushy type of couple. I don’t expect my car to be stuffed full of helium heart shaped balloons (trust me, I actually saw a vehicle fit this description in traffic this morning) or roses to be delivered to my place of work on the hour, ever hour just cos its Valentines Day. Things can be crazy enough for both The Husband and I, so the opportunity to lock down a weekend where we are both in the same place at the same time, is gift enough. And this past weekend we pulled it off. True it was completely coincidentally that it fell exactly on the weekend of Valentines Day, but we’ll quickly dust over that tiny technicality and pretend we both have the precision and timing skills of a NASA engineer when it comes to organizing our life schedules ( I wish). And what did we do with our weekend of togetherness? Why we did what any couple in love does. We took the doggies for a morning run. Made a monster breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast, which gave us enough energy and muscle power to finish painting the bathroom vanity, drill the missing handles onto the kitchen cabinetry, remove the sloppy sheet-rocking splashes from the downstairs bathtub complements of the work of some sloppy sheet-rockers and assembled both sets of office furniture. Yes ladies and gentlemen, we where your quintessential soppy and romantic Hollywood chick flick couple all weekend long. Don’t be jealous. Ladies, play your cards right and this time next year, this could be you.

This morning however, The Husband did take a small step into soppy when he got me roses. Hmmm, maybe there’s a small chance we could be the mushy mushy couple after all, but I doubt it. Happy Valentines Day everyone.