Friday, December 28, 2012

Four Best Friends.

Without a doubt, one of the best things in my life is my amazing, amazing, AMAZING family. I am so blessed. Growing up my parents always encouraged us to make relationships a #1 priority and have a 'we are forever' attitude. Relationship are hard work. But they are SO worth it! Growing up in a large family was fun because there was always someone to play with, or another sibling to help you with your chores. But being an adult in a large family is so precious- best friends that know you better than ANYBODY because you've lived, worked and played together from your very earliest memories!! :)
Each of my siblings has a super special place in my heart and I am so grateful for each one.
As each season of life brings change, the dynamics of the relationships change too.

Age order from left to right.
The four of us were born within 5 years, around 18 months apart.  I may be the oldest, but I'm the shortest by a full foot. :)
In this past year the four of us have become a pretty tight knit bunch and have had so much fun together. The boys had been asking to take some pictures so for Christmas I surprised them with a photo shoot! It was soo much fun!!

This girl is like another one of my limbs. When I was 12 we fought SO much that my Mom banned me from any communication with any of my friends. She told me that if I couldn't learn to get along with my sister, I would not be a good friend either. At the time I had close to 20 penpals that I wrote weekly and I had to stop cold turkey after awkward "I'm too mean to my sister to get to continue writing to you" letters. 
It could have backfired on my Mom, but it worked wonders and after a few rocky months (my poor parents and the drama of two pre-teen girls......) we became the best friends that we are today.

I've learned so much about hard work from Moses! You will not find a harder worker anywhere! Moses and I were always good buddies growing up, mostly because we both adored football so much. Moses is such a gentleman and you cannot lift a finger around him- every door, chair, box, pitcher of water, whatever is off limits when he is around!!   

Circle of love and support!

Not everyone is blessed with siblings. If you are blessed with siblings - cherish them! It is never too late to start developing a deep relationship. Been estranged for years?? Begin again! Write that letter, say your sorry, send that text, buy that plane ticket, call just because, pray for their success and safety.
 Micah and I used to fight like cats and dogs during my last few years in High School. We had to 'start fresh' so many times........many tearful angry fights later, we are such best buds. We love to go hunting together and he is my biggest cheerleader when I run. During my 1/2 marathon he sent me texts every 1/2 hour encouraging me. He's a keeper.

One of the most precious things that we share together as siblings is our faith in Christ! There is nothing better than prayer and worship time with these three.


Photo Credits go to Miranda Young of Miranda Young Photography!! Like her on Facebook!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Where I've Been.......

A very Merry Christmas to each one of you! I hope you were able to celebrate with your loved ones!

It's been an incredibly busy month, and I decided to just take a few weeks break from blogging. I wanted to focus my extra energy and time with family and friends and so blogging had to take back burner. I plan to return to blogging in full force now.....get ready for an exciting training announcement!! :)

Christmas 2012- this is about 1/3 of my family.

Beautiful Birthday flowers from a special friend.  

My family celebrated Christmas at the beginning of the month and we were all able to come home with the exception of my skype had to bridge the gap for us. Nothing like having him there in person, but seeing and hearing him made it a little bit better. 

Operation Cookie Tray Day. I love making special treats to bring to friends, neighbors and co workers.  

Coffee dates with the sister.

Trips to my parent's house to read all their Christmas cards and eat their Florida oranges. 

Running in 6 degree weather with 2 inches of snow on the ground. (In capris. Not my brightest moment!)

Working-- love my job!

I am so excited to welcome 2013!! I absolutely love starting a new year and all the goals and adventure that I begin to plan and experience. Life is wonderful!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Baby, it's Cold Outside!

Happy Monday to YOU!! I love Mondays. They are my favorite day of the week and I always fall asleep excited Sunday night, just because I get to wake up the next morning and it be Monday.

I took the entire week off from running last week. Following my 10 miler on Sunday I was feeling a little bit run down and had some wierd soreness in my left ankle. I say I was playing it safe and taking a rest week, but I'm pretty sure I was just lacking the motivation to actually move my caboose and get my runs in. It was a combination of both, and whatever my reasoning was, I'm super glad I took a rest week and I was ready to come back to my running with a veangence! My goal is to run 15 miles this week.

This morning I only needed about 1/2 of my fingers to count the degrees on the the thermometer. Dude it was cold. I had a buddy to run with otherwise I might have wussed out- it was COLD!!! We made it 2 speedy miles, just enough to start the day out right. Seriously, starting my day with a run is my favorite. Always.

After it warmed up (to a whooping 19 degrees) my sister and I headed out for another 3 miles to bring my total for the day to 5. I didn't time my early run, but my second run for the day was about a 9.30 pace so I was pretty happy with that.

When we got back from our run my sister made me promise to never let her wear this outfit 'in public'. I wasn't sure what this meant since we ran on a highway with plenty of traffic AND through town and everyone and their Grandma was out in their yard to watch us chug past. I think it's adorable.  

How cold is 'too cold' for you to run?? This is my first winter running, and I'm not sure what it too cold for me yet. I was worried this morning that I was going to burn up my lungs, but they actually felt great the whole run. I couldn't tell that I was inhaling frozen air. It was cold, but relatively comfortable. I always heat up during my runs and I don't wear that many layers because I will overheat. The first 1/2 mile is usually pure misery but then I'm warm and cozy for the rest of the run.

Moment of Truth.

 Last week I only worked out once.
I set out for a run and only made it about 100 feet before I quit. Not started walking. QUIT. Turned around and walked back inside and took my shoes off.
I had to take 10 pounds off my bench press because I could barely lift it off the bar, let alone pump it. 10 pounds that I added 5 weeks ago and was almost ready to add more to.
It wasn't because I couldn't.
It wasn't because I didn't want to.
It wasn't because I though it wouldn't matter.

It was because I was too weak.
I was too hungry.
It was because at the end of every day, I had the satisfaction of seeing that I'd successfully consumed as few calories as possible that day.

14 months ago I made a decision to change my life. I wanted to pursue health and physical fitness. I didn't want to just 'be this body', I wanted to flourish in this body. I wanted to become the best possible version of myself. I built a foundation for a lifelong change because I told myself everyday-
it's the journey, not the destination.
When weeks would go by without outward changes, or yet another friend would recommend some weight/fitness product that had totally change their body tempting me to try for just 30 days, or 90 days, or maybe just 10 days, when I felt discouraged, I'd remind myself.
This fall I found a rhythm in my 1/2 marathon training. I was focused. I was fueling my body really well, working towards a goal and having fun. I was happy with every day and each step I was taking in this journey. I wasn't where I wanted to be, but I was changing, shaping, achieving........choosing to keep trying, keep working......keep believing. 

I had originally planned to take a couple days break following my 1/2, re-group, set new goals, press of forward. Throw in some complicated family/personal issues and my 'couple days break' morphed into any energy or focus I had getting thrown under the bus and quickly shelved.

I stopped reminding myself the truth about my journey. I wanted to 'arrive'. I wanted to meet goal and be where I want to be physically NOW. I was no longer happy with the journey, I wanted destination. PRONTO.
It was that road trip that makes all your senses come alive-- the tires humming along the pavement while your eyes drink in the beauty of fall in the east- coffee and apple slices for munching and the radio just loud enough to catch Natasha Bedingfield hum about soul mates. And then suddenly it's dark and your eyes won't stay open and the car is full of the sound of rubber and asphalt clashing, your hands and steering wheel are sticky and every radio station is running their annual pledge drive.

But in reality- nothing had changed. Only my perspective. Only my attitude. Only my decision to enjoy life.

In allowing my perspective to change, I allowed my behaviour to change. I would be the first to tell you that you HAVE to properly fuel your body. I spent two weeks arguing with a close friend this summer after she told me that she had cut her calorie intake and lost 7 pounds in one week. I spent days trying to convince her how dangerous that was, emailed her links with healthy eating recommendations and prayed my butt off that she would 'come back to her senses'.
But in my impatient, thoughtless need for perfection......I became my own worst enemy. I accepted the lie that who I was today wasn't good enough if it didn't look like what my mind thought was the best.
I didn't intentionally seek truth, and lies intentionally sought me.

It was a short-lived couple of weeks, but over the weekend I had to come face to face with myself. I was hurting myself. I couldn't look in the mirror and say 'I'm taking care of my body' and refuse to properly fuel myself. That's not honesty.

This blog has been one of my favorites since the first time I ever visited it. Read it. It will change your soul.

I share this because I need the accountability of sharing this struggle. I'd like to pretend that it was some vague issue that I went through and 'got over', but that's not honest. That's not genuine. Authentic. Real. Those are all things that I want to be, both as an individual and as a blogger.
Health begins internally. You can't be healthy outside unless you are healthy inside. It's starts within.
So I choose to seek truth. I choose to love this journey. I choose to see the big picture.

To recap-
don't believe lies.
fuel your body.
get counsel from wise people.
love life.
be happy.
the end.

Friday, December 7, 2012

FFFFFriday! This week my work schedule was nuts!! I always tell people that my schedule is varied and never the same two weeks in a row; this week is a great example of that!!
Monday- 3pm-11pm.
Tuesday- 8am-4pm.
Wednesday- 11pm-7am.
Thursday- 1pm- 6pm.
Friday- 7am-7pm.
Never a dull moment in my life!

I have been in the most random mood this week! I may or may not have talked for 20 minutes with a friend about the color of his kitchen appliances. Let's just say; he was not bored during that conversation.

My sister and I may be best friends, but we do NOT see eye to eye on some very important issues.
1. She thinks that blueberries and dill pickles TOGETHER make an acceptable snack. I beg to differ.
2. I never have more than one browser window open. I use one window with 3-6 tabs. She has never used the tab button in her life and usually has a minimum of 6-8 windows open simultaneously. I maintain the opinion that tabs process faster than windows, but she does not agree with me.
3. She thinks Matthew McConaughey is attractive and I'd rather look at a picture of a buffalo drowning.
4. We both like our coffee super black, no cream and sugar for us. At least we agree on the deal breakers in life.

I love cooking for these boys..........cinnamon rolls brought out the the field. They are such hard working men and I am so proud of them! Becoming an adult is not easy, but they amaze me! I am so blessed to have such awesome brothers!!

This weekend I hope to get in another long run if the weather holds up. It's supposed to get rainy/icy/slick-as-snot/really good Christmas baking weather, so we'll see if I make it out for a long run.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Some spice to my life.

This morning I put chili powder in my oatmeal thinking it was cinnamon. Example #193 why I should never attempt anything in the morning prior to coffee consumption!! :) Unfortunately I was eating in the car on the way to work, so I didn't even have the option of starting over and making a new I just sucked it up and ate it. And for the record, yes, chili powder and frozen blackberries are not a winning combo.
What is the oddest combination of flavors that you have ever tried?

I had planned a long run for Saturday afternoon and post-poned it until Sunday since I ended up going to the football game. I wasn't sure how far I wanted to go, just as far as I felt good, I'd keep running. I ended up running from my house to my parent's house, which is right around 12 miles. I felt good for the first 8 miles and had to really fight to make it to mile 10. Once I hit the double digits I walked the last two miles for a cool down.

Good old Kansas hills!  

GU chomps- I tried the watermelon flavor. Not half bad!!

Beautiful sunset! Can you imagine any better view?!!?!

This was my longest run since my 1/2 and I really felt great. I have missed my long training runs.....gonna work them into the regular schedule even if I'm not training for a specific race!

I was at work the other day when I looked out the window and saw this adorable couple running together. They looked like they were in their upper 40s, lower 50s and it just made me all happy to see them together. I really hope someday that my spouse will run with me. Hopefully he's slow like me. :)
 Does your bf/significant other run with you? Do you talk during your runs or do you zone in and just get the run done?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

We are the Champions!!

Saturday morning began as a sad, dreary day. It was overcast and cloudy and sprinkled off and on. I had a funeral in the morning for a good friend and coworker and my spirits matched the weather.

But a pick-me-up was in store for the rest of the day! On my way home from the funeral a friend asked if I'd be interested in an extra ticket she had to the Kansas State/ Texas game. Interested?!?! COUNT ME IN!!
We had a great time tailgating in Manhattan before the game where I ate my weight in spinach/artichoke dip and banana bread. Please don't judge. I was carbo-loading for a long run. :)

The game was fantastic!!


Texas and Kansas State face off in an awesome game-- well played by both teams!


Storming the field.  

This game had been sold out for weeks and the stadium was packed!! When they stormed the field, there were hundreds of people on the field, yet the stands still looked full.......crazy.

K-State victory means a BCS bowl game!

I am a die-hard K-State fan and listen or watch every game of the season. It's always a good day to be a Wildcat!!

Did you watch football this weekend??