Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Spark!

For anyone else trying to get in a little better shape, I have to suggest this website:

It's a totally free site where you can track your nutrition and fitness. I'm loving it! It's a little time-consuming at first to enter everything you're eating and all your activities, but it lets you save things you eat often to a short list so it gets much quicker as you go. It gives you the option to make your own workouts or have them create one for you. And when you input an activity you do and for how long, it tells you how many calories you've burned. Way cool. It tracks everything for daily goals as well as weekly. So you know if it happens to be a rainy cold Wednesday morning and you're still bruised and sore from your soccer game Tuesday night and are just bumming on the couch updating your blog with no intention of going to the park for a run (hypothetically speaking), you can take a day off. And still make sure at the end of the week, you've put in the time to burn enough calories cumulatively over 7 days.

But my favorite feature is the daily report. Each morning after I've entered in everything I plan to eat that day, I can look and see if I'm within my optimal range for calories, fat, protein and carbs. This is so helpful, because getting the right amount of those things can be difficult! It's tempting when trying to get healthy to cut out all fat and really reduce calories, but that's not good for your body. So it's great to be able to see if everything's balanced.

So far it's been really helpful when it comes to planning my meals and workouts and tracking them. And it's keeping me motivated! I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Jamie: I really hope you get pregnant in the next couple months.

Tara: (awww it's so sweet that he's so excited to be a daddy!) Yeah, me too.

Jamie: Then we'd have a baby around Christmastime.

Tara: (awww he's thinking how much fun Christmas would be if we had our own little one to celebrate with) Yeah, that would be fun.

Jamie: That way we'd get a tax deduction next year.

I <3 my accountant husband! :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Who IS This Guy and What Does He Want From Me??

In my senior year my roommate Britt and I had this conversation roughly 4 dozen times -
Me: Guess who ____________ (fill in the blank with something totally unexpected like "Watched Dancing With the Stars with me last night?")
Britt: Who?
Me: Jamie Hotalen.
Britt: Really??
Me: Yeah. Maybe he does like me...?
The whole first semester of my senior year was littered with run-ins with Jamie that left me totally confused as to what kind of guy he really was and what he wanted out of our relationship. Here's a few examples:

The Soccer Field Heart-to-Heart:
Shortly after we got back to school, I went for a run on campus (with Chachi *sniff*)on a day we had a break from practice. The boys team also had the day off but when I got back to the gym lot where my car was parked, guess who was on the practice field kicking the ball around. Somehow we wound up talking. For a long time. About deep things like how we felt about it being our last year at TFC and what we hoped to do after graduation (for the record, I hoped to return to New Jersey and never leave again). At this point, I didn't think Jamie HAD a deep side. I didn't think he was capable of meaningful conversation. I thought a conversation with him would revolve around sports, movies and video games. It was surreal to actually be connecting with him. Of course when I got home I said to Britt - Guess who I just had a long heart-to-heart with about our dreams and goals. Britt: Who? Me: Jamie Hotalen! Britt: Really??

Again you'd think if a guy really liked a girl he'd continue to pursue her, build off a good long conversation. Nope. Didn't hear from him after that except for our usual passing in the gym hallway before practices. And I decided he really didn't have a deep side after all and that was just a random incident, not an indicator of Jamie's real personality.

Later in the soccer season, Gao Foua and I stayed after our practice to watch the boys practice. They were leaving the next day for playoffs in Florida, so this practice was our last chance to watch them play. At the end of practice they worked on PK's preparing for a tie-breaking shootout during playoffs. And someone suggested Jamie get in goal. And Gao Foua and I both laughed a little because Jamie is a forward, sometimes a midfielder, always a goal scorer, not a goalie. Except he was really good. And I remember thinking, "This guy really can do anything on the soccer field."

The Phone Calls:
In October, the boys team went to Florida for the regional playoff tournament. While he was there Jamie called me. Twice. Once after the first game to tell me they'd won and once before the last game so I could psych him up.
Me: Guess who called me from Florida to tell me how he did in his game.
Britt: Who?
Me: Jame Hotalen!
Britt: Really?
Me: Maybe he does like me...?

I didn't hear from him for a few days after he got back from Florida and then one day he invited me over to watch the video footage of their championship game (which they'd won). Remember the pk practice Gao Foua and I watched? Where Jamie played goalie? Well, as it turns out, the region championship game was tied after regulation, and still tied after overtime. So it was decided by penalty kicks. And guess who played keeper? It was really dramatic. In a PK tie-break the two teams alternate taking PKs, 5 per team. In this case, TFC made their first 4 shots, Southeastern made 3 and then Jamie stopped the 4th. Meaning that if TFC scored again they would win. And guess who was shooting the 5th PK? I wish I was better at describing this moment. Jamie stops the 4th Southeastern shot, takes off his keeper gloves, walks up to the PK spot and nails his shot. Goal. TFC wins.

Which brings us to our next what the?? moment: The Video
When the boys got home I was invited with a group of people over to Jamie's apartment to see the video of the PK shootout. When I walked in, Jamie was not in the living room and one of the guys yelled to him, "Jamie, Tara's here. Can we start it now?" Then he turned to me and said, "We weren't allowed to watch it until you got here." And I went, "What??" Maybe he does like me...?

Nationals in Orlando
While watching the boys final practice, Gao Foua and I decided that if they won regionals, we'd go watch them play in the national tournament which takes place in Orlando. Where Jamie's family lives. So I spent a weekend staying with Jamie's parents. This is when I really started to think maybe Jamie was not who I thought he was. If you've never met Jamie's family, there about as cool as a family could be without being Minters. I remember thinking after that weekend that nobody who was raised by those people could be as bad as I had previously thought Jamie was. During this weekend Jamie alternately ignored me completely and "flirted" with me in his subtle Jamie way. He lent me his sweatshirt when it got chilly one night and took me on a ride on his parents moped. He also sat next to me on his parents couch and watched "Deep Blue Sea" with me. Sounds pretty obvious, right? Well ok but during that movie he waited just until one particularly scary point where someone gets eaten by a shark, laughed at me for getting scared and then went to bed before the movie ended. He wasn't exactly flirtatious.

The last night I stayed in a hotel with the people I was riding home with and he came over to swim in the hotel pool with us. And then sent me a text message after he left to say good night and that he hoped I felt better (I had a cold).

And then we got home from Orlando and I didn't hear from him again for weeks. If he liked me and we just had a great time in Florida together why wasn't he calling me? Asking me out? What did this guy want??

The Ballet:
Then came my birthday. Which I decided to celebrate with my brother, my roomie/bff and their significant others. And Jamie. My mother-in-law says the moment she found out Jamie was spending his Friday night at the ballet she knew he had it bad. But to me he seemed happy to go and a little bit uncomfortable to be the only un-coupled pair there. Definitely not sending out the "I'm crazy about you" vibes.

Thanksgiving Break:
Over Thanksgiving while I was home in New Jersey, Jamie called a couple times. Not every night. Not even every other night. Just once while I was driving home to see how the drive was going and once during the break to say hey. And to have what turned into a very deep conversation that left me wondering - again - who this guy was. I told Kristy about it and she said, "I think you really like this guy. I think you like him but you don't want to because he lives too far away from home." So true. You see right through me, Kristy.

Christmas Formal:
I returned from Thanksgiving fully expecting Jamie to ask me to our school's Christmas formal. That's what a guy does when he likes a girl, right? Except he didn't. So we didn't go the formal but we spent the whole evening of the formal together and then met Britt and her then-boyfriend Adam at Adam's parents house for the weekend. We played cards and had a great time and at some point I mentioned how much I wanted to go to the Toccoa Symphony Orchestra Christmas show the next day. (HINT HINT). Which leade to...

Our First Date:
Before dropping me off after our weekend at Adam's, Jamie asked if he could take me to the Toccoa Symphony later that day. YES! Ok so it was several months later than I expected and I had to practically tell him to ask me, but he had FINALLY asked me out on a real date. I was convinced he really liked me then. We had a great time and he told me what instrument they use to tune the orchestra. And how he knows that from his time playing the clarient in middle school. My brain was going Wait..What?? You know something about music? And you played the CLARINET?? By the end of the night I was sure he liked me. And I liked him. Then the evening ended and he drove me home, didn't get out of the car, didn't walk me to the door and didn't call me again for quite some time. Perhaps that didn't go as well as I thought. So. Frustrating.

The Christmas Concert:
Every year right before Christmas break TFC's music department puts on a concert of Christmas music. It's a dressy affair and a lot of people from town come. The TFC dining hall serves a fancy meal beforehand with tablecloths and candles and all that jazz. Unfortunately, being off campus, we did not get to participate in that meal. So Britt and I along with a few friends and roommates planned our own Christmas dinner which I of course invited Jamie to. He did come to dinner but I could not talk him into coming to the concert with me. He did not want to get dressed up and sit in the TFC chapel all evening. Even if it was an opportunity to hang out with me. And I began to think he must really not be interested in me after all. After all, he did go to the ballet for me. Why not this event.

And then came the mother of them all...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Story Continues

Jamie says his leg was not actually shattered. I've seen the x-rays, though and there were 3 distinct pieces of leg bone. I'm sticking by my use of the word shattered.

At any rate, it happened at Atlanta Christian College on a day that both the girls and boys teams had games back to back. After our game, all of us girls had gotten showered and dressed and were watching the boys play. Jamie had the ball at about midfield when an ACC player trid to knock it away from him. Unfortunately for Jamie's tibia, he completely missed the ball and connected solidly with Jamie's shin. Jamie said at first it just felt like any hard shot to the shin, but then the pain just kept getting worse and worse as he lay on the field. There may or may not have been some choice words uttered. After determining that there was definitely something pretty seriously wrong with Jamie's leg, his coach and the ACC trainer got him off the field and situated on the sidelines because why rush to the hospital? If his leg was broken then, it would still be broken when the game was over, right?

Jamie watched the rest of the game and the decision was made to bring him back with the rest of us on the bus and have his leg treated back at Toccoa. Stephen's County Hospital is directly next to TFC and his grandparents lived nearby and would be able to come pick him up.

And that decision was a pretty fateful one for he and I.

I had a lot of homework to get done that night. I can't remember if it was reading or studying for a test or what, but I know I needed to concentrate. So I sat in the front of the bus where I wouldn't be bothered. However, Jamie and his broken leg couldn't exactly sit in a conventional bus seat, so he was laid on the floor with his leg propped up on equipment bags. And his head laying on the ground right next to my seat. How is a girl supposed to study when a boy with a broken leg is lying right next to her chair all teary-eyed from the pain and sudden, tragic ending to his junior season? So I started talking to him.

I don't remember everything that was said, but I remember two things pretty clearly:
1) I know I told him his senior season was going to be his best year ever. He'd be so bored of sitting around with a cast on his leg that he'd work extra hard once he could run and play again. He'd spend all summer getting back in shape and come back next fall better than he'd been before the broken leg. I was totally right.

2) At one point, Jamie looked up at me in a pain-induced fog and said, "You look like an angel." It wasn't exactly flirtatious. I had a reading light on above my head, and when not blow dried, my hair tends to frizz out around my face. From Jamie's vantage point on the floor, my little frizzies were being illuminated from behind and giving me a lovely halo. Jamie was just stating a fact. Still, it was pretty funny and I like to tease him about it.

Now if you know a little bit about our story and are any good at math you can figure out that about 15 months passed between the broken leg and fateful bus ride and the actual start to our dating relationship. Here's what happened in between that time:

The bus ride was enough to make Jamie think, "That Tara chick is kinda cool," but it was not enough to change my opinion of him. So much so that when Jamie approached me after one of my games and asked if I'd want to come over to his grandparents (where he was staying until he could get around on his own) and watch a movie sometime, I said sure but was thinking "Uh, no." Because I thought he was the kind of guy who would ask a girl to "watch a movie" when he was thinking something more along the lines of "make out on the couch". And I was not that kind of girl. (Here is a good place to point out the fact that Jamie had injured his hand in another game shortly before breaking his leg. When at the hospital getting x-rays on his leg, he asked if they'd mind taking a look at his hand, too. It was broken as well. I was afraid a guy on crutches with with one cast from mid-foot to mid-thigh and another one on his arm was going to put the moves on me. Jamie still finds that hilarious. This is also a good time to mention that Jamie and I were dating for 5 months before he ever even kissed me. I may have misjudged him.) I did say I would call him if I ever had a chance to come by. His name is still in my phone as "Jamie Hotalen" from that day even though I've changed phones and he's changed phone numbers.

About this time our friend Gao Foua got involved. She knew Jamie had a thing for me and thought we would be perfect together. I distinctly remember a conversation I had with her in the gym during intramural basketball -
Gao Foua: "You and Jamie would be so cute together. Would you ever consider dating him?"
Me: "I don't really see him as the type of guy I'd date seriously. He'd be fun to go on a few dates with if I was just looking to have fun, but I could never be in a serious relationship with him."

Never. I actually said I could never be in a serious relationship with him. Clearly I knew myself (and Jamie) SO well!

In the interest of full disclosure, I had just gotten out of a serious relationship a few months before The Bus Ride and was kinda interested in a guy I'd worked with over the summer. So really, between my impression of Jamie as some kind of rebellious bad boy, my recent break-up, and my interest in someone else, a relationship with Jamie was just not something I was into pursuing then.

And Jamie? Well, he is the definition of a slow-mover. Remember the post I wrote about how long he shopped around for our house? And his Camry? He does not make snap decision. And he was not going to rush into anything with me. Especially when I was giving him no reason to think I was interested. The idea of us as a couple was going to need several months to marinate before it ever became reality.