about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.



A Constant State of Vacation.

Whew! It feels like we were gone a long time…

Last Friday, I threw on a tube-top beach dress and cowboy boots, and got my yeehaw on at the hottest Riverbend concert of all time – literally. I’m talking high 90 degree temps in a shoulder to shoulder crowd jammed in under the pavilion with no breeze – hot stuff! But totally worth it to dance along with Lindsey Boots to two of our faves – Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley. Man, I love summer concerts…

After the concert, I dropped the rest of the cowgirls off at the bar, and headed to the grocery store at midnight to grab snacks and cooler goodies for our big car trip in the morning. Note to self: going to Kroger on a Friday at midnight in a beach dress and cowboy boots draws some unwanted attention. I ended up in bed around 3:30am, and was up at 6am for our departure. Needless to say, Casey drove the entire way (thank you!) and I did a lot of sleeping.

We arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina around 1:30 on Saturday, and stayed until Monday night. Details of the Charlotte trip will be saved for a future blog post, but it was definitely a fun weekend – Charlotte is beautiful! We headed out of Charlotte and hit the road for Hilton Head, to join Casey’s family for a few days of fun in the sun.

I can’t tell you what we did each day because, as they should, the days all run together. I can tell you that they all involved lots of sunshine and sand, hours and hours of talking and stories, beach reads, bike rides, loooong walks, and delicious food. Here is my week in pictures…

While I am a total sun person, I have a thing about getting too much sun on my face. The sun down there was hot as hell, and I was forced to take drastic measures in protecting myself from getting football-like wrinkles in my 50s. The only protection I could find was this absurd Indy Car trucker hat that I found in the back of the car (thanks, Chuck!), and I wore it every day with pride:)

Riding a bike in a dress is no joke. I was terrified it was going to catch in the spokes and either rip off, or cause the bike to crash. Dress paranoia aside, I was an emotional mess on this bike ride – stopping to look in every lagoon for alligators (didn’t see one – boooo!), yelling to Casey about every single thing I recognized, and savory every minute of my trip down memory lane.

Vacations are the times when you get to do exactly what you would do if you didn’t have to work, right? For me and Casey, that means getting to workout as much and as long as we want to, without all the other annoyances of life (jobs, errands, etc.) eating up most of our time. Every morning, me, Casey, and Grandma Diane were the first three up, and we’d start each day out on the porch together enjoying the quiet morning, and a few cups of the strongest coffee in the world.

After coffee and fuel, Casey and I would take off for either the beach or the bike trails, and do a long run/walk for no less than ten miles. It felt so great to be able to walk for (literally) hours, with no agenda to rush home to, and no plans for the day. Plus it let us relax and eat as much as we wanted to without feeling guilty about being lazy vacationers. Our morning “workouts” were really just a great chance for us to enjoy the beautiful island and weather, and talk about work, plans, life, and the rest of it.

Despite being annoyed by it, Casey was a champ and carried my camera in his pocket when we ran, so that I could capture the vacation in pictures. I just kept reminding him that “it’s for the bloooog!” Typically we started walking, and finished with running, so we were hot and drenched by the time we came home to enjoy breakfast with the rest of the family. Good thing my camera was in a Ziploc!

After the morning walk and workouts, we spent the rest of our days doing this….

One of my main objectives on our first morning walk was to find my old stomping grounds in Sea Pines. We set off down the beach and walked for a few miles, before coming to this…

Now when I was there every summer, I always knew it was a private lane, but I didn’t realize how freaking exclusive it is! Innocence of youth I guess, because my mom assures me it was always like this (although I swear it wasn’t gated before…). Regardless, both entrances from the beach and the street had big iron gates blocking the access to my beloved Turtle Lane. I seriously think it is the only gated street on the entire island – how ridiculous! Despite Casey’s protests, I did sneak inside the beach gate for a minute or two, just long enough to soak up some memories and snap a few pictures…

Grandma and Grandpa’s old condo, that as kids we weren’t actually allowed to go in (funny now that I think about it). But I did get to store my super cool alligator raft and boogie board inside their gate, and that was good enough for me!

The boardwalk we would run down to the beach during the day, and catch frogs on at night. I felt such a huge surge of memories walking through this spot. Cousin Sarah, I thought of you when I took these! :)

The pool where I can honestly say I probably spent at least 10% of my life in. Seriously – two weeks in Hilton Head and you could not get me out of this thing. Since we spent two months at the beach in New Jersey, when we got to Hilton Head all I wanted to do was swim in the pool. Quick story – when I was two I jumped into the deep end of this pool (right behind me) after a toy, while my mom and my babysitter were deep in conversation on the pool loungers. I was under the water for like two minutes before my mom noticed and jumped in with her clothes on. I think I still turned out okay.

Being the beach girl that I am, I was typically the last person on the beach. There is something about being on the beach at like 6pm, when most people have gone in, and then sun is starting to weaken, and families come out for pictures and dog walks and cocktails in the sand. It is my favorite time to be at the beach for a few minutes, all by myself.

And that basically sums up my week! Simple, just as it should be. Many many thanks to Haley, Andrew(s), Jeff, Diane, Kevin, Tracey, and Toby for a great time. Double thanks to Toby for the amazing food, and all the good cooking advice:)

And now for my next vacation…! We are leaving Thursday night to spend our Fourth of July weekend in the most patriotic place imaginable – Washington, DC! Neither one of us has ever been there, and we booked our trip forever ago with free flight vouchers left over from last year’s trip to Vegas. We’ll be visiting my great friend Blake, and we’re planning to do most of the typical touristy stuff – Capitol, Arlington, Lincoln, etc.

If you have any good suggestions for things you think we should see, or any great veg-friendly places to eat, please comment!

Happy Birthday, America! Thank you for a four-day work week!

(and Happy 1-year Anniversary to Liz and Eldrich – crazy!)



On Sandcastles…

I’m really sorry guys. This poor blog has been so neglected since the wedding. I just haven’t been able to snap out of it. It’s a snowball – there are so many things I want to blog about that I don’t even know where to start, so then I end up just not blogging at all. Sigh.

I am leaving for vacation early tomorrow morning. Wait a minute, didn’t she just get BACK from vacation? Yes, you are correct, I am vacation-spoiled. But believe it or not, I need it. Our life post-wedding has been quite the roller-coaster. Our house is on the market, there has been a lot of landlord drama, we are moving again, and much more that I will fill you in on when I get back. Plus, while the honeymoon was fabulous, as you saw from the re-caps, it was not exactly relaxing. The constant adventures and excursions didn’t leave much time for pool-side naps and reads. So that is exactly what I plan to do next week…

Casey and I are taking off tomorrow morning for Charlotte, NC! We have a special trip just the two of us planned for the weekend. And then on Monday night, we’re heading out of Charlotte down to Hilton Head, SC – for a fabulous week of fun, food, and family. We are staying in a beach house with Casey’s aunts, uncle, and cousins, and I could not be more excited!

This vacation is extra special for me. Bear with me for a short story. Yeah right, her stories are never short. Whatever, it’s my blog. Like I was saying…

My vacation-spoilage started at a very young age. My great-grandmother had a beach house in Stone Harbor, NJ – and in case you don’t know about it, I can assure you that it’s one of the greatest places on earth. My mom spent every summer of her life at the Jersey shore, so naturally, once we came along, we did too! Every year, school let out in early June, and we packed up the car a few days later and headed for the coast. Just me, mom, and Rebecca (and eventually Sarah!) – dad had to stay home and work – sucker! We rode bikes, played outside from sun up to sun down, made summer friends, learned to boogie board, read books on rainy days, and lived in a perfect beach side paradise until August. I wish I had known then just how lucky we were…

In August, my dad would fly to New Jersey, and we’d pack up the Aerostar and drive it down to Hilton Head for the last two weeks of summer. Every year, my grandparents hosted the yearly Holcombe family reunion in Hilton Head – every aunt, uncle, and cousin – about 30 of us in all. Some of the best memories of my life are from those summers. Just pure, genuine, uninterrupted family bonding – story-making, story-telling, and so much love.

Not to get too sappy (or make myself seem too old!), but things were different back then. I would go away for the entire summer without ever making a single phone call. Every few weeks, I’d send postcards and letters back home, but for the most part, I just lived in the moment. I worried about things like whether or not I built my sandcastle high enough up in the sand. I didn’t feel a nagging, obsessive need to check my phone, email, blog, or bank balance. I know that part of that was childhood innocence, but I also know that there are ten year olds on Facebook now. It speaks to how the world has changed, and sometimes I wonder if it’s been for the better.

At the end of the summer that I was 14, my parents got divorced, and the innocent beach-loving, carefree kid that I was went with it. Later that year my great-grandmother (from the New Jersey side) and my grandpa (from the Hilton Head side) both passed away. My family never went away to the beach together again. I’ve been back to New Jersey once for a few days, but I haven’t set foot on Hilton Head sand since the summer that – in my heart – I knew would be the last one. It has been 14 years, and I can’t wait to go back. I was raised in Cincinnati, but I grew up at the beach.

My goal for the week is to find my sandcastle-building, carefree spirit again. To live in the moment, and enjoy every drop of sunshine and saltwater.

So with that, I’ll see you guys in a week, and not a moment sooner! It’s Friday and it’s summertime – go play outside!

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