Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blacktop for Black Friday

Oh my dear friends, I have so much to catch up on in this little journey of mine.  I apologize in advance as my posts may be a bit sporadic and random for a while (that seems to be how our lives have been a bit lately too).  I've enjoyed taking a break from blogging for the last several months, but oh how I've missed sharing and connecting with you all.

We've had a lovely Thanksgiving with my in-laws in Western Kansas.  The kids absolutely love one on one time with Gramma Chelle and played games, painted, sewed (they made the bags and hats in the picture below), went to the park and played outside.  It's such a blessing to see these special relationships grow!

When we were packing and getting ready to head to Western Kansas I checked the weather to determine what clothes needed to be packed.  When I saw the weather was in the 60's and 70's, our packing requirements changed :)

Although we spent some time doing some Black Friday shopping online, we were excited to hit the 'Blacktop for Black Friday' as well!  Josh's mom and dad blessed us so much by keeping the kiddos so that we could go on a ride/date together.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous (despite a bit of wind).  We started heading south of Leoti and had set out to ride 40 miles.  It was a bit of an aggressive goal as neither of us had been on our bikes in about two months.  I've still been cross training and running, but I forget how different biking is.  We had a decent head/side wind heading south but as you can see on the map, we had about 5 miles where we headed east and oh my goodness was that fun with the wind pushing us!!!  Joshua ended up going about 35 miles an hour and I hit about 25 miles an hour during this part of the ride.   My only problem was about halfway through this fun little jaunt, I realized we were going to turn around soon and have to ride with a nasty headwind.  Yuck!

When we first started biking, we both got Garmin Edge 510's, which have a live tracking option. Josh's parents and the kids really enjoyed following us on the computer. They could see where we were on the map, how fast (or how slow) we were riding, when we stopped, etc. They're a bit expensive but definitely worth it for safety purposes, great for collecting data, and make it fun for friends and family to follow too!

We made it to our halfway point at the Kearny county line and had to stop for a few fun pictures.  A special little friend of ours was riding her bike today too (in Colorado), so we told each other we would share pictures as if we were riding together (hence the goofy pictures of Josh).  I just love how technology can bridge miles between special friends! #teamMadelyn

 I love this guy and his fun personality!  I never would have guessed 3 years ago that we would be doing things like running half marathons or biking 40 miles together.  Truly blessed!

It was a hard ride but we finished the 40 miles together!  It's pretty incredible how God created us and what our bodies are capable of accomplishing!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Slacker Half Marathon 2014 Race Recap ~ Our First Run-Cation!

There's nothing like running 13.1 miles to celebrate 13 years of being married to this incredible man God brought into my life many years ago!

Now that our kiddos have gotten a bit older, they're starting to enjoy summer trips to see Grandparents in the summer, while Mommy and Daddy enjoy some alone time.  As hard as it is to be away from them, it's always a great reminder that we are husband and wife first, and daddy and mommy second.  My mother-in-law came and picked up the kiddos on that Wednesday and then Thursday Josh and I headed to the mountains.  Last year we went to Dillon, CO to stay the night before I ran the Slacker Half Marathon and it was just beautiful, but we didn't really have the time to enjoy the area, so we were excited to have a little extra time this trip!

We took our time traveling to Dillon and once again we were just blown away by the view.  Friday morning we enjoyed not being wakened by an alarm or little people and then went for a 2 mile run just to get rid of some pre-race jitters and to adjust to the elevation (or try to anyway).  The run along the Dillon lake was absolutely gorgeous!  After we ran 2 miles we walked and chatted for 2 more miles.  I remember telling Joshua how had we not started this journey of becoming more active, we wouldn't have even taken the time to enjoy such a beautiful run/walk.

 Is this view not just breathtaking?  God is SO good!!!

This wonderful man has always supported my journey to getting healthier, 
but absolutely nothing compares to being on this journey together!

This little morning run was a perfect reminder of why I enjoy this sport so much!

Dinner at the Dam Brewery.  Oh, he always makes me laugh!

Great food, a lovely glass of wine and the best company :)

Saturday morning finally came and it was time to head to Georgetown to be bused to the Loveland Ski area.  The temperature at the starting line was about 38 degrees and I was SO cold.  I had such a hard time taking off my sweatshirt, but I knew it was going to warm up quickly and I wasn't about to make the same mistake I did last year by dressing too warm.  To be honest though, I even had tears it was so cold.  But leave it to my husband to help me relax and get excited to run!

When we said 'I do' 13 years ago, I never would have dreamed about this very moment!  This was one of the most incredible times in our marriage.  Love him so much!!!

I felt so much better about this race than I did a year ago.  It's fun when you know what to expect and know the course.  For some reason though, I REALLY struggled through miles 5-7.  I started to have stomach cramps really bad, which I'm sure was due to the elevation and not eating and drinking enough before we got started.  I really didn't want to walk or stop at ALL through the entire race, but the cramping got so bad that I had no choice but to walk for just a bit and catch my breath.  Once I did, the rest of the race was enjoyable!  I have to say that the encouragement from the other Team Beef members and runners was awesome at this race too!

This picture was around mile 10!  I can't believe I actually had a smile.

I'm so incredible proud of Joshua for completing his first half marathon race!  He wanted to finish in under two hours, but believe it or not... he finished in TWO HOURS AND ONE MINUTE!  He's still a bit bitter about the fact that the bottleneck of runners at the starting line and a potty break prevented him from meeting his goal.  I'm still so incredibly proud of him!!!

I struggled again right before the finish line, but there my hubby was to help me finish as he ran with me the last little bit (even after he had already finished his half marathon)!  I finished in 2:20 which was 7 minutes faster than what I ran it a year ago, so I was happy!  It was such an incredible reminder of this journey we're on together.

We celebrated finishing and then headed back to Dillon to relax and enjoy our last evening away.  I still struggle with getting headaches when I run 10 miles or more from getting dehydrated, so I was prepared for one to come and ready for a nap.  One of these days, I'll get it figured out :)

After a nap and dinner we went to the Dillon Ampitheatre and enjoyed some live bluegrass music, a beautiful sunset and a gorgeous view of the mountains and lake.  I've never felt so refreshed and connected to my dear husband than I did after this trip.

I hope that we can plan another Run-cation together (I would even love for this to be an annual event for us).  It was definitely one of the best trips we've had together!  Fellow married couples ~ I challenge you to think outside the box on your next getaway.  Although, we've really enjoyed other trips, planning and preparing for this one was incredibly special and certainly some memories I will cherish!  

After such a special getaway, we were certainly ready to get the kiddos home!  
We all made some pretty special memories and we're so grateful for the time our kiddos get to have with their grandparents!!!



Sunday, July 6, 2014

Stitch Fix #8 Review

As I've shared before, I really enjoy Stitch Fix!  I've had several fixes over the last several months, but haven't shared about my experience in a while so I thought I would take a minute as I really enjoyed my recent fix.  I also wanted my stylist to see the clothes she picked out for me.  I hate shopping, but have enjoyed someone else overhauling my closet, because it REALLY needed it.  I love how Stitch Fix has also recently changed how you can set up your automatic 'fixes.'  I was doing it once a month, but I found that was a bit too much.  So, I've set up to get a 'fix' every other month, which has been just right to update my closet while being a bit easier on the budget.

Here's a recap of the 5 items I received this time.  I apologize, the pictures aren't great, but I greatly appreciate the effort from my husband.

1.  Fuchsia Jo Maxi Skirt - $58 ~  I have a confession to make with this one.  I've never been a huge fan of Maxi skirts.  Part of the issue is being so short, they never look quite right.  When I submitted my feedback, I shared the same thing with my Stitch Fix stylist, but told her that I would give it a try. Then after trying it on again, it was actually one of my favorites in this fix!  I love how the more my stylist gets to know me, the more she pushes me outside of my comfort zone.

2.  Light Pink Rosco Floral Print Crochet Detail Tank - $58 ~  I had pinned several crochet tops on my Pinterest board, so my stylist sent me a couple of them.  I love how you can pin items you like on Pinterest and then similar items show up in your fix.  It's almost like magic :)

3.  Ally Teardop Stone Bangle - $88 ~ Again, I had pinned several bangle bracelets that I liked on Pinterest, so Jocelyn sent me one with this fix.  I've always struggled with accessories, so it's been fun to get them in my fixes as well!

4.  Alison Sleeveless Colorblock Dress - $68 ~ I asked for something fun for Independence Day with this fix.  It's a fun dress to dress up or dress down.

5.  Dane Crochet Panel Knit Shirt - $54 ~  Sorry, the picture of this top just doesn't do it justice.  I love the crochet detail of this top and it has cute details on the back too. A fun top to wear with jeans, shorts or a skirt.

I have had the same stylist from the beginning and Jocelyn, I hope you continue to be my stylist!  I also appreciate the fact that you save 25% if you keep everything in your fix.

For my next fix, I've asked Stitch Fix to help me plan for family photos since they did such a great job last year when I asked for something in dark green or brown.  They sent me this adorable green jacket (the jeans were from Stitch Fix too).  I absolutely loved not having to stress over my outfit for family pictures.

It really is a wonderful service due to the fact that I live so far away from places to shop, I have no fashion sense, don't like to shop, but am really starting to like fun clothes for the first time in many, many years!

Thanks Stitch Fix!


The Kids' First 5K ~ Race Recap

As I've mentioned before 5k's are not my favorite race distance these days, but doing it as a family and with friends makes it my absolute favorite distance!  We debated whether or not to do a local 5k race even up to a couple days before just simply due to the fact that our schedules have been so busy lately and it was a week before our half marathon race in the mountains. Once the kids got excited about it, we knew we needed to take the morning to encourage our kids and let it be their race :).  It was also the first race for a dear friend of ours, so we were excited to run with her and her dear sister as well.  We love this local race, it's a small and friendly run.  Last year this race was our very first family run.  Thanks Lifestyle Fitness, for another wonderful race!

The kids were so cute getting ready for their race first thing in the morning.  There's something so encouraging and fun about sharing our love for running and taking care of our bodies with our kids!  God has designed our bodies to move and it's so fun to share this message as a family!  We also enjoy sharing the message that lean beef is a great source of protein for active families!!!  I apologize for the picture overload of this race... it was just such a special morning!

We were so proud of these kiddos!

Our dear friend helped design these adorable tanks.  We just love how cute they are and the message of Hebrews 12:1-2 it shares!  Rachael and Sara are such sweet sisters and so incredibly encouraging, sweet, Godly women.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, for sharing this special day with us!!!

Oh, how I love this girl!  She has prayed, encouraged and reminded me of God's purpose on this journey from the very beginning!

Last year I ran with Kylee and Daddy ran with Jayce, so we decided to switch it up this year.  Two years ago, I never would have dreamed that I would see an image like this.  An incredible Daddy sharing such a special moment with his little girl!

I had no idea how much I would learn about my little dude through this race!  I have spent time working with Kylee on how to keep her pace, how to do run/walk intervals, but I hadn't worked with Jayce at all.  I was fully prepared for him to run a couple of blocks and then we would walk the remaining 5k, but oh boy did he surprise me.  This silly 5 year old took off at a sprint and ran for well over a mile without walking.  I had absolutely no idea he had it in him.  I also discovered how incredibly competitive he is.  It was a great reminder that there are other lessons to be learned running a race besides encouraging physical fitness.  I had to discuss with Jayce that the race is a great opportunity to encourage others and that it's important to finish the race!  This little guy touched my heart as anytime he passed or was passed by someone he reached out to give them a high five :)

Sweet Sara was definitely Jayce's budy!  She was so incredibly kind and gentle with him.

 When I asked Kylee what her favorite part of the race was, she didn't even hesitate to say that it was crossing the finish line with these ladies!  I don't think it matters how many races or how old you are, there's something amazing about each finish line!  

After a strong start, some tears and a piggy back ride on mommy, little dude finished strong!

This is one of my favorite pictures of the morning!  I love how Josh hurried to get to the finish line, so that he could capture these three lovely ladies coming across the finish line together.  

Kylee encouraging her little brother as he finished!

This was little dude's favorite part of the race... getting a snack when he finished!

Another one of my favorite pictures of the day.  These two ladies have such a special relationship!  And what a special way to deepen their friendship, running their first 5k together!  

Thanks Miss Rach, we love you so much!!!

Run the Race, Persevere & Focus on Christ!



Sunday, April 27, 2014

A New Journey

Oh my friends, I'm beyond thrilled to make an announcement here on my blog!  I've shared it with a few close friends (I'm sure those following me on Pinterest have started to figure it out as well), but I know the power of prayer, so I wanted to share my announcement and ask that you join me in prayer as we prepare for this next journey that God is leading us on!

I've prayed and visited with some of my closest friends about trying to figure out God's purpose for this journey over the last two years of getting healthy, growing closer to God and becoming the wife and mother God has called me to be (which is obviously still a work in progress).  I know God works all things for His glory, but it's difficult at times to see His plan and to be patient for His timing.

Friends, this world we live in can be a bit scary and quite frankly it scares me at times as a parent.  My hearts desire is to seek God's wisdom in raising these kids.  Over the last 8 months or so, I've absolutely loved working with kids.  Whether it's been through our AWANA program, substituting for Sunday school classes or helping in Kylee's class at school.  There's just something about working with these kids that brings true joy to my heart.  I was asked one day to do 'story time' during AWANA for the Sparks group and I shared a fun devotion about how running physically is quite similar to running spiritually.  I had so much fun sharing with these kids and they seem to enjoy the lesson too.

Well a few weeks ago, God laid it on my heart to develop a Christ centered girls running group!  It really is in its infant stages right now.  I'm still praying about it, working on the devotions/object lessons, naming the group, and working out all of the details.  It will probably take over a year to work out all of the details, but I'm SO incredibly excited to see God work through this!  The purpose of this group will be to teach girls (ages 8-12) over an 8 week period (meeting twice a week) about spiritual and physical health through devotions, team building games, health tips and coaching them to run a 5k.  I'm clearly not an expert, but I am on fire for Jesus in this adventure and pray I learn and grow right along with these girls!

One goal before kicking off this program is to coach my sweet girl through running her first 5k.  Needless to say Miss Ky will be my guinea pig.  I simply asked her this afternoon when she wanted to start running and she was so excited to say 'TODAY.'  Needless to say we grabbed our 'Kid's couch to 5k program' and headed to the treadmill (the weather is a bit ugly today to do anything outside).

When Kylee handed me her little clipboard, she had this sweet sticky note on it.  I just love it!

I remember having this exact feeling after completing day 1 of the couch to 5k program two years ago! If I needed some affirmation about this girls group, I think it's in this little girls face!!!

Baby girl, I'm so excited to go on this new journey with you.  Ky grabbed her iPhone to listen to some music while she ran (she's watched Mommy too much) and she was so excited about the song she had picked out to start her run with... 'God Girl' by Jamie Grace.  This song is very near to both Kylee and I.  She absolutely loves the song, I love the message and Kylee has touched my heart with this song when I hear her sing it at the top of her lungs while she's in the shower or playing in her room.  Sing it girl!!!

With that... we have officially picked out the name of our group 'God Girls Run'.

Just this morning at church we heard a message about bringing God glory in all we do.  It was a great reminder to stay humble and focused on Him in all we do!

May we bring glory to God as we share His love to girls in our community through this journey!!!  I can't thank the sweet girlfriends who have already prayed for and encouraged us on this journey.  You are all such a blessing!

Thank you all in advance for praying for 'God Girls Run' and for allowing me to share this journey with you!



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Different kind of 'Workout'

As I shared on my page, I was finally able to get in a 10 mile run in on Saturday.  It's been since last fall that I had a long run in the double digits, so it felt great to hit that milestone again.  Since then though, my workouts have looked a bit different.  My husband calls it his bootcamp.  He says the best part is it's free and saves me time on my normal workouts.

First of all due to Joshua's recent bootcamp implementation, I must admit that had he not gotten up this morning to run on the treadmill, I would have stayed in bed for another rest day, which would have been two rest days in a row!!!

So, here's what my workouts have looked like over the last several days.  After my ten mile run on Saturday, I helped Joshua finish the ceiling in our basement.  I can't even tell you how many times I went up and down the ladder and the stairs to clean up some of the trash from the project!  We really like how it's coming together!

Sunday, we enjoyed our Easter morning with our church family.  My dear hubby and I filled in for the 5th and 6th grade Sunday school class and had such a great time with those kids (and I think we made a pretty good team).  After we came home we worked on the basement a bit more.  We've given ourselves a goal to have this project finished before a lot of our summer travel plans arrive!  I spent Sunday afternoon moving all of the laminate floor across the basement as well as from out in the shop.  This was quite a task :)

Monday night I asked my dear hubby what else I could help with.  He told me that I could take out the laminate flooring out of the craft room.  We're both a little frustrated as there's nothing wrong with this flooring other than we don't care for the color and wanted it to match the rest of the basement.  I carefully took it out trying to minimize damaging any pieces, as we're going to try and sell the flooring.

And here's Joshua working on the stairs.  This part has to be done before we can lay the new flooring and wrap up the basement project!

My intent of this post is to encourage you to think outside the box with your workouts.  I started to fall into the trap that I needed to complete my regular workouts on top of these projects.  My body quickly reminded me that it's okay to have a few days where you're not adding miles or reps.  It's also been quite rewarding to work beside this man and actually be of some help.



Friday, April 18, 2014

More than Just a Mirror!

Oh, how I've missed blogging lately.  Our DIY projects have been taking up a lot of my time lately!  As I've shared, we've been working a lot on our basement to finish an entertainment room, a fitness room and a craft room.  While we continue to gather supplies and work on these projects, my dear husband's shop has become rather full and difficult to get around.  Last month we went and picked up a custom mirror for the fitness room and it's been sitting in the shop ever since.

Last night Joshua shared with me that sometime this weekend, we really need to get the mirror moved out of the shop so that it doesn't get broke out there and so that he can actually get to some things out there.  After some discussion of whether or not I would be able to lift it and help him get it down the stairs, we decided to go for it!  The mirror is 68"x84" and REALLY heavy!  What did I just get myself into?!?

Joshua worked on a game plan of putting styrofoam underneath the mirror and blankets around most of it so that we could slide it whenever necessary and sit it down to rest when necessary.  As this dear man began coaching me through this process of getting this very large, heavy and awkward mirror into the house, down the stairs, and hung on the wall, this experience become much more than just moving a mirror (I wish I would have taken a picture of that part of the process).  He could tell by the look on my face that I still wasn't convinced I had the strength to do it!

On Wednesday nights I help with our AWANA program at church and each of the kindergartners I work with can tell you that one of my favorite verses is Joshua 1:9.  "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  God used Joshua to remind me of this special verse and powerful truth.

My dear husband was so patient with me!  At the moments when I felt like I was getting too tired to continue, he gave me just the words of encouragement I needed, reminding me that I was strong enough to do it.  But he also never let me forget that he was also there to protect me when the task was getting a bit difficult.  There's no way that I would have had the strength to do this two years ago at the beginning of my journey. 

God is faithful and He's preparing us today for what He has in store for us tomorrow!

We did it!  You know you have a big mirror when you have to use a ladder to clean it!  I was SO excited to be done with getting the mirror hung!  
PLUS can you tell I'm just a little excited about our fitness room starting to come together?

It  required team work to clean the mirror too!

The best part of this DIY project was the hug and embrace from my husband after we accomplished this task by ourselves.  And although we're both a bit tired of this project (and have a ways to go yet), I will never get tired of working on projects with this man!  
On a side note, the french doors/windows from the fitness room lead to the craft room!

We're excited about our basement finally coming together but I was far more grateful for God's reminder that HE is my strength and courage in all things, even the silly task of moving and hanging a mirror!!!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...