Friday's Letters

Joyous of all days, it is finally Friday my friends :) Linking up with Ashley from Adventures of Newlyweds today for a few letters....shall we?

Dear Halloween....I'm kind of over you this year, but I can't lie, I'm totally going to eat some candy and savor every bite!  Paleo might just have to get put on hold for a little bit of Halloween candy ;) Dear Paleo....I'm finding it hard to be as strict as I was the first few weeks.  Womp womp!  But keeping with your rules about 90% of the time is still pretty good, yeah!?  I think so.  I'll take it!  Dear This Week....You have won.  I handed you full victory as the tears freely flowed when leaving school on Wednesday.  I'm not sorry you're over.  Dear Friday....Seems like it took for.ev.er for you to get here this week.  You're killing me smalls!!  Dear Dining Room....We just might be headed to pick out your furniture this weekend!  I could squeal with the excitement, I can't wait to see my vision come to life!  Dear Weekend....I'm so excited you're bringing back the fall weather.  I can't wait to wear a sweater, some skinnies & boots.  Dear Husband....Thanks for being you.  And for never making me feel silly for crying on a Wednesday afternoon about not having time to fold laundry.  To the moon, baby!!


Pure Joy

So in the midst of the craziness that is this life, I like to just stop and count my blessings every now and then.  I have oh so many, many blessings in my life and I never, ever want to forget to be thankful for them!

So here are a few things that have been bringing me pure joy lately...

Folded laundry on my bed after getting home from work on Friday.  
Bliss!  Oh man, I saw that & knew for sure (not that I ever doubted!) that my husband loves me.  He performed a few little house husband tasks on Friday while working from home and it brought joy to this weary teacher after a loooong Friday!

A good, long run.

In my new kicks!

We skipped a workout Sunday and tailgated for the Panther's game (another loss - wahhhh) & I didn't have time to run or workout yesterday.  Sadly work and the grocery store got precedent.  I was so excited to go run my little heart out on the treadmill this afternoon...felt so good to get over 6 miles under my belt!

A vacuumed floor.
Can I get an amen!?  Oh, my pretty floors - they have been neglected due to our busy schedule & had gotten so dirty!  They were in desperate need of a good vacuuming!  I can only let it go so long before it will send me to the nutty house & tonight they got the cleaning they'd been needing!

Sweet fur babies.

These 2 make me so happy!  How can you not love it!?

I love driving through the city and seeing trees looking like this...

...and pulling up to my house and seeing this on the front porch :)

So many little joys lately!  May I not forget to count them!



So as promised, I'm finally blogging about Paleo.  When I started writing this post, I had no clue it would end up this long :)  So grab a cup of hot tea & a seat and hopefully I'll be able to answer a few questions you may have.... 

What is Paleo?  Why am I doing it?  How is it going?

First of all, I am no expert by any means, so I would suggest browsing these websites to get a general idea - Paleo wiki, this site, and this blog.

Now here is my simple, layman terms definition of what the Paleo lifestyle is: 

Simply eating like the humans ate during the Paleolithic era - eating whole foods following mostly a hunter & gatherer diet.

Lean meat, seafood, fruits, veggies, nuts/seeds, and healthy fats = GOOD.
Processed food, sugar, dairy, grain, legumes, starches and alcohol = BAD.

Restrictive?  Yes.  Very!
Scary?  Yes.
Worth it?  Absolutely!

I was super turned off by Paleo when I first heard about it!  I mean how could I ever give up carbs & diary!?!?  But as an avid worker outer (cause that's a word, right!?) I've felt so frustrated in the stalemate that my body has seemingly stayed in for the past few years & I knew deep down that I needed to try something different!

Several weeks ago, Jennifer at Life in the Green House blogged about her Paleo journey & why Paleo?  She pretty much summed up my thoughts exactly!

There's a bit of a background story concerning my weight - during my middle school and high school years, I was close to 20 pounds overweight.  Somewhere during my junior year of high school, I decided to do weight watchers and dropped most of that 20 pounds and kept it off until my first year of college!  Then, I gained the ever popular freshman 15 & was really upset with myself for putting that weight back on!

So second semester freshman year, I started avidly running and I really cut back my calories.  Once I lost that weight, I've successfully kept it off!  

But there was always that last 5 to 10 pounds that I could stand to lose.  I'm only 5'1, it would be totally appropriate and healthy for me to weigh 110 pounds, but I haven't seen that weight since I don't even know when!

I work out more than most girls I know - from running, to weights, workout classes and videos, P90X, Insanity....I've tried it all and I continue to work out a lot!  And I enjoy it!!  (Most of the time, that is!)

But it's not even about a number on the scale!  It's more about my body never changing.  I typically don't gain weight, but I don't lose any either!  I never seem to get more toned or stronger and my body just stays the same....despite all my my efforts.

So logically, the only thing I can really change and take control of is what I put in my mouth!

But I love food.  Like LOVE!  I always joke there's a fat girl living inside me that's trying to get out, except I'm only half joking.....because seriously, THERE IS A FAT GIRL LIVING INSIDE ME & sometimes SHE TRIES TO GET OUT!!!

Typically, I have strong willpower at the grocery store and tempting, unhealthy foods don't even come home with me.  But every now and then they do.

And at times, my love of food can get out of hand and I borderline binge.  Clearly, for the most part, I have control of this as I don't have an eating disorder or anything of that severity, but, for example, if I make a batch of cookies - I would totally eat 4 (or 5) if no one was watching!  (Thank goodness there is usually someone watching!)

If there are sweets or a temptation in the house, I'm typically of the mindset that I need to just finish off the temptation in the house - the rest of that chocolate bar, the rest of those cookies or rice krispy treats, etc - so the temptation is no longer there!

Also, I'm an emotional eater, and I know it!  I like to reward myself with food, treat myself for something I did well.  Or if I eat something unhealthy (snacks or candy), then I convince myself well today's already a wash, I might as well keep eating whatever I want for the rest of the day.


I must be restrictive!  Paleo restrictive!

I've been following Paleo for a little over 6 weeks now!  I'm down 5 pounds and truthfully feeling really, really good!  It may not be a lot of weight gone, but I can tell a huge difference in my body and the way my clothes fit.  And my workouts have been fantastic lately, I'm running faster and feel stronger.  And I think it has everything to do with what I've been eating.

For me, because Paleo's so restrictive, I'm not concentrating on the one thing I can't have!  For instance - oh I've given up desserts or no more carbs for me, etc. and then all you can think about is desserts or carbs!  I'm typically more focused on what I can eat and finding new ways to prepare it!

To be truthful, the past week and a half I haven't been as strict and I can tell that it's not good!  So I'm really trying to be serious about it again.  

The hardest times are when I go out to eat.  I can usually find something Paleo wherever I go {surely a garden salad just about anywhere is probably Paleo or very close!), but I am tempted by all the other things on the menu I shouldn't eat!  They just stare at me and scream EAT ME!

Haha, but thankfully, Brandon is very encouraging with me trying to follow Paleo!!  He's said he'll eat whatever I cook when he's home and he encourages me when we're out to eat to not deviate!  He can definitely tell a difference in how I look and he sees the confidence it's given me!

Because it's so restrictive, I obviously don't live by Paleo 24/7.  If I have a cheat meal or 2 a week, I'm not going to beat myself up about it!  If it's someone's birthday, you better believe I'm having a piece of cake!  And if we go out for Mexican, I guarentee you I'm having a least a few chips with my salsa!

But I really do want to follow Paleo the best I can for as many meals a week as I can!

Paleo really takes planning, I can definitely vouch for that!  So in the next week or so I hope to blog my meals for the week so I can prove to those Paleo doubters out there that it's not so hard and totally doable!!

Paleo has totally changed my mindset about food.  And for the better!  It truly is a lifestyle.  And while I know I'll eventually incorporate small portions of dairy and grain here and there in my diet, I really plan on keeping this up!  The feeling's just addictive!

If you're stuck, in a stalemate, wanting to lose weight or adopt a healthier diet - I dare you to try Paleo for a month and see if you choose to go back to your eating habits before!!

So, so worth it!


Welcome to the World

Welcome to the world Abel River!!  Held here by, no longer the baby of the family, but big brother Wells Bascomb!

Sweet nephew, you have made me an aunt for the 4th time and although you are my 3rd nephew, you are no less precious, little boy!!  

This afternoon I came to meet you and held you for a good while as you attempted to open your eyes and make the cutest, sweetest baby faces I think I've ever seen!

Abel, we are smitten with you & so excited you have joined our family!

You just might have succeeded in giving me baby fever!!

Love your infatuated aunt, Michelle


Spartan Beast Race

2 posts in one weekend!?!  Who am I!?  ;)

Yesterday, Brandon participated in his second Spartan Race and I think it deserves a blog post!!

He competed in the Spartan Beast Race at Carolina Adventure World in Winnsboro, SC.  This bad boy  of a race was about 13 miles with 25 obstacles!!!  

Sounds like death if you ask me!  Haha, thank goodness the one I'm doing in March is the Spartan Sprint, only about 5 miles and 15 obstacles, only. {Oh bless, who am I kidding!?  The Spartan Sprint could definitely be the death of me!}

You can sign up for it here, by the way!  Join me!? :)

Anyways...B was in the 12:30 heat so once we got down there we got him "tatted" up and took a few clean pictures!

Ready to go!!

And he was off!

I set up camp with my camping chair and a few magazines and waited out at about the 6 mi point where you can see the racers climb a rope and do the traverse wall.

B made it to this point at about an hour and 5 mins in which was earlier than I was expecting him!!  I'm really glad I happened to glance up & see him!

Just after ringing the bell & just before losing his grip!  Haha

Not the best luck on the traverse wall...so slippery.
Burpees it is!!!  Yuck!

After this he was off to complete the last half of the race and I wouldn't see him again until almost the end.  By this time, two 7 ft walls to scale, the archery throw, a mud pit and incline wall, the fire & the gladiators would be what separated him from the finish line!

Since he completed the 1st half of the race in just over an hour, I wasn't quite sure what to expect for the 2nd half, so I stood waiting for him after about the 2 hour and 15 minute mark since I didn't want to miss him!

The 2nd half had a ton of obstacles apparently & B lost his time chip at one point, so he had to backtrack about 10 minutes in order to find it - all adding about 20 minutes to his time!!

He made it to this point at almost 3 hours.

7 ft Walls

Didn't get the archery throw - he was an angry elf!
More burpees!!

Of course of the 2 obstacles he didn't get - the ones I could watch!  Haha, he completed all the others except 1 that he skipped and just did the burpees instead because there was a long line!

So muddy!

More mud!!

Over the fire!


And with a smile...that was only for the pictures!  Haha

He was hurting!  And continued to hurt last night and today.  There's been lots of icing and slow walking!

His medal!

B's already said he doesn't care to do this race again!  Haha, but the pain is worth the glory at least once :)  And well earned!!!

B finished 22nd in his age group, faster than all but 2 women & 70th overall!  Out of over 2,300 participants!!  Although, he should've been in the top 50 and beaten the fastest girl if not for losing his time chip!  Ugh!!

Still, lost time chip & all, I think it's pretty dang impressive!!!  Way to go babe!  Here's to never doing another Beast Race and dominating the Spartan Sprint in March!! :)



Hello there sweet blog!!  Oh, how I have missed you!  Sadly, it's been almost a month since I last posted :(  I feel so incredibly behind!!

It's seeming lately, that I need to first read and reread this post and secondly, just be present in my life.  Free moments, let alone, free time to blog are few and far between these days.

My weeks are spent doing school work, house work, working out, attending to and enjoying my fur babies and rare dates with friends and weekends are spent enjoying time with my husband, our fur babies and our little family.

Blogging has taken a back burner for now.  Which, truthfully, makes me sad.  It may seem silly, but I really miss blogging!  I miss writing and recapping our weekends and what we've been up to.  I miss sharing pictures and recipes and anecdotes from our lives.

I really hope I can get back to blogging more regularly, and soon, but I'm not sure if I'm there yet.  I've seen several "Currently" blog posts floating around so in the mean time, here's what's going on Currently with The Shucks....

Loving:  Lately, I'm loving this weather!  It actually feels like we've had a fall this year and didn't just jump over to winter!  We've been enjoying fires in our new fire pit...

playing with Berkley outside, and sleeping with our windows open!  Lovely I tell ya!

Reading:  Well, not much lately.  As we've covered, I have close to zero free time lately so not much reading has been going on.  Every now and then I try to read a little at night, but reading at night puts my straight to bed, ha!  I've been reading The Other Wes Moore for about 2 months now.  I have Gone Girl and Where We Belong just sitting in my night stand, waiting to be read!  I have high hopes to finish these 3 by the end of... spring break!?  Haha

Watching:  Sticking with my current theme of being behind, my DVR is bursting with new fall TV, but what I have watched so far this fall, I am loving!  Some of my favorites include Modern Family, Parenthood, Grey's Anatomy, Boardwalk Empire, and New Girl.  We watched the first episode of Nashville last night and really liked it, too!  I can't wait for Happen Endings to come back on and I'm now 3 weeks behind on Private Practice.  Whoops!

Listening to:  Some of my current favs include Phillip Phillips - Home, anything by Maroon 5, Fun. - Some Nights, as well as {no shame here} Taylor Swift  - We Are Never Getting Back Together and the Biebs - As Long As You Love Me!  If any of these are on the radio, you better believe the volumes up and I'm jamming out :)

Thinking about:  All things holidays!!  We've gotten some new fall decor...

...and have some outdoor fall decor in the works!  Fall gets me so excited for our Anniversary, Thanksgiving & Christmas!  We recently drew names for our family Christmas gifts so I'm in the process of putting together my wish list :)  This will be our first holiday season in our house and I'm so excited to decorate and celebrate!!!

Looking forward to:  Babies!!!  My SIL is due any day now with my 4th niece or nephew and my sweet friend Rachel is also due soon with her first baby!  Brandon's sister & BIL find out the sex of their baby on Monday!  Ahhh, can't wait to meet all these sweet babies!!

Laughing at:  Berkley's new Halloween shirt!

Making me happy:  Quiet weekend nights at home.  Like tonight!  Maybe I'm boring, or just getting old, but nights like tonight....dinner out and now sitting and blogging with my husband laying beside me, the dog running around and a movie on - perfection :)

Celebrating:  Lots of fall Birthdays!!  

B turned the big 2-9 at the end of September!  His mom came into town for the first time since our wedding and we had a great weekend of celebrating!

We took Joan to Asheville for the day and toured the Biltmore House!

The next day we had friend meet us for dinner and cookie cake back at our place to celebrate!

Last weekend we celebrated my sweet nephew, Jude Leeland!  Can't believe he's already 5!!

Some birthday loot!

Cakepop love :)  Such handsome little nephews!

Tomorrow is my handsome brother's 32nd birthday!!  Happy Birthday Josh!  Couldn't be prouder to call you my older brother :)

Wearing:  I love me some fall fashion!!  Boots, sweaters, leggings, scarves....love it!  I've made a few new fall purchases, but I'm trying to rein myself in from spending too much!

I just got this cute Gap sweater in the mail...


As well as this Under Armour running shirt to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness!


B and I are in the need of some new running shoes as well!  I think we're heading shoe shopping tomorrow and I really excited for some new kicks :)

Planning:  Our 2nd Anniversary trip to Nashville!!  We love Nashville and are so excited to go back and really explore a little this time!  A spring break trip back to Puerto Rico has also been in the talks, but we'll have to see about that one.  Keeping my fingers crossed!

Feeling:  Overwhelmed and stressed.  Finding balance between work and non-work activities has seemed near impossible this year.  I can't really put my finger on why, probably the same ol' reasons as always, but it just seems to weigh on me so heavily this year.  Praying it all levels out here soon.

Also feeling:  so incredibly blessed!  Whenever I fret over the stuff I mentioned above, I start to feel guilty.  My problems could be so much worse!  I have a wonderfully, fantastic life that I share with my amazing best friend & husband as well as my incredible family & friends.

Really, I'm just a big mess of feelings, haha!

Browsing:  For a Dining Room table!  Instead of buying for each other this Christmas, B and I plan to buy some dining room furniture (and hopefully a rug) for our large, empty dining room.  I have a general idea of what I want, but there are so many options out there.  Hopefully we find the right one soon, so that it's actually here by Christmas!

Enjoying: Girly at home manicures :)

It's simple little things like this that get me through the work weeks!  Right now I have a fun, sparkly brown on my nails!  Makes me happy when I look down :)

Cooking:  All things Paleo!!  I swear a Paleo post is coming, but in a quick summary, I'm down 5 pounds and having some of the best workouts I've ever had!  I feel so much better about myself, the way I look and feel.  It's been very eye opening.  I can't wait to write that blog post :)

Dating:  This sexy beast!!!

B finished his 2nd Spartan Race today -
the Spartan Beast Race!!

How luck am I!?  For real, I married a beast!  I'm so grateful for him - the way he partners, the way he motivates me and supports me in all things!!

Savoring:  Sweet snuggles from the fur babies!  This was us last night :)

A kitty in my lap, then a cute white doggy snuggled on the other side!

Wondering: If my Panthers are going to win again anytime soon!?!  :(  Don't get my wrong, they're still my team and I love & support 'em!  But I need some more Ws this season!!  Tomorrow is our bye week...so at least we can't lose!

Missing:  Blogging more :(  

If you read this far, well, bless you!  Haha, and thank you!  I definitely hope to be back more frequently.... So posts won't be this ginormous....at least a weekly update or something!?  We shall see!  

Hope you all are well my sweet blog friends!  Thanks for sharing this ride with me :)