Monday, October 14


Happy Monday night everyone! As many of you know, over this past weekend Adam and I headed down to Chicago to run our very first marathon as part of Concordia Chicago's team. Well - we did it! Amongst 40,000 other runners, we tackled all the 26.2 miles had to throw at us!

This is a picture Nike took during the beginning of the race - the entire length of the street on the left of this picture is FILLED with runners - Adam and I are 2 of them :)

Where to begin blogging about this experience? If you want to read about our whole weekend in detail I'll write about that at the end of this post half for myself to help remember the details when I want to look back one day and half so you don't get totally bored reading a really long post :)

Lined up in our start corral Sunday morning, I think it was fair to say we were both really excited and also nervous for what the day would bring, but we were in the corral so there was no turning back. To see the sunrise downtown, to hear the National Anthem before the first wave of runners started out, to be silent all together in memory of Boston, and to finally start was all just awesome beyond what I can describe here.

Adam, Kevin and I in our corral all getting ready to run our FIRST marathon!!

All runners wore these bands during the race. Chicago runs for Boston.

The encouragement fans and race volunteers provided all along the ENTIRE course was so motivating and provided such energy! It really is humbling to run in such a beautiful city, amongst so many other runners and through so many fans. It literally felt like the whole city was out to see us run. One of my favorite thing about races are how many fans hand out all kinds of random things to the runners along the course. Popsicles, beer, pretzels, Jolly Ranchers, tissues, wet sponges, donut holes...everyone was just trying to show their support. Funny & encouraging signs were in full force too - here are some of my favorites/ones I could still remember after the race was over

  • I am proud of you complete stranger!
  • The Kenyans are lazy, they only ran for 2 hours today
  • 26.2 because 26.3 would be crazy
  • Congress isn't running but you are!
  • You’re running better than the government
  • He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength – Isaiah 40:29
  • You made it to the start, you’ll make it to the finish
  • You’re so smart & pretty
  • Pain in temporary, pride is forever
  • You look so skinny!!
  • Smile if you’re not wearing any underwear
  • Smile if you peed a little
  • I don’t do marathons, I do a marathoner
  • Chafe today, brag tomorrow
  • The Kenyans are drinking all the beer
  • Hurry up, the Walking Dead premiere is in 14 hours
  • Run quietly please we’re hungover
  • You trained for this longer than Lindsay Lohan was in rehab
  • Remember why you are running today
I knew signing up to run a marathon that this kind of race was designed to really test the endurance of the human mind and body. I also knew that I enjoyed running and wanted to support my college by raising money. Bonus, I love Chicago and getting t-shirts and medals and stuff...

What I did not know was how incredible the sign for mile 26 was going to look. What I did not know was how it feels to truly push your body far beyond anything you could imagine. What I also did not know was how proud I was going to be to finally run across the finish line with Adam.

Adam and I completed every step of the marathon together yesterday. We enjoyed and experienced all the highs and lows of the day side by side. This may sound cute or mushy to read to you and maybe it is cute or mushy to do a marathon together, you should know that it's also one of the craziest experiences a couple could tackle together. To watch each other's bodies shut down or to try and encourage each other when you are mentally breaking down - that's not for the faint of heart or spirit. To spend 26.2 miles together that are designed to physically and mentally exhaust anyone who attempts them - and then make it to the finish line hand in hand is a humbling and priceless experience.

When we finally crossed the finish line & received our medals - for me the whole race that had just happened seemed like a blur. A really amazing blur - but a blur nonetheless.

SO PROUD of my husband for finishing all 26.2 miles!!!

Always happy to cross the finish line and get my medal!!!

Lots of people want to know if we will be doing anymore marathons. To be fair that's a tough question to ask someone who has just given their whole body to complete one. Read: Adam and I can't walk today haha For Adam I think yesterday was definitively his first and last marathon, but he is looking forward to trying half marathons and triathlons. His favorite part of the race was the first 13 miles of the course. For me, I would like to run more marathons in the future. Yesterday's race did make me realize even more how much I love the half marathon races so I am excited to return to training for shorter races BUT I also know that I can do a marathon and had an amazing day yesterday in spite of the challenges that come with the I look forward to tackling a few more in the future.

2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon FINISHERS!

Adam  & I are blessed that God gave us the opportunity to run and finish the course yesterday. To everyone who donated to our run, who sent texts of encouragement, who prayed for us, and supported our running of the Chicago Marathon, THANK YOU! Running for yourself is one thing, running for others motivating :)

Adam took this picture - it turned out so cool!!!
PS. A course record was set yesterday by a Kenyan man with a time of 2:03:45 - our time wasn't anywhere close to that, but we all still got the same sweet medals at the finish! :)

News articles about the 2013 Chicago Marathon

Our Race Weekend

We arrived in town Friday night, along with our friend Kevin (also running) and his wife Jordan. Always good to do crazy things (like running a marathon) with friends & support! The whole weekend leading up to the start of the race Sunday morning was full of lots of anxious excitement as we all had no idea what to expect come actual race time. Saturday we headed downtown to the race expo to pick up our official race bibs & racing packets. I LOVE race expos. I think they are a lot of fun - always full of so much energy since everyone is there as part of getting ready to finally run. The expo for the marathon was easily the largest I have ever been to - also the most chaotic.

We checked into the expo (which was easy) but then we were sent on adventure to pick up our gear check bags and official race shirt. To get to the shirt pick-up you had to walk through the main section of expo vendors - this easily took us 15 minutes because the expo was SO large. Other than hunting for our shirts, we got as many freebie handouts as we could (sunglasses, laundry detergent, water bottles, jump ropes, power bars...) and took advantage of the variety of photo op walls.

The marathon was offering free shuttles from the expo to the Nike store on Michigan Ave so our last adventure downtown on Saturday was to check that out. Niketown was completely packed - but also completely efficient at getting people taken care of. I needed to get my FuelBand replaced which they took care of right away (awesome!) and Adam and I each picked out a Nike marathon gear shirt :) Coolest part? Nike had a live DJ in the store!

(L) Adam's shirt has the main Chicago neighborhoods (of the 29) that we ran through on the back
(R) My shirt!

The rest of Saturday was low key. Concordia sponsored a pasta dinner for all runners which was delicious. We also got a chance to hear how the projects were coming that our team had been raising money for - a Literacy center and a Health & Wellness center. As of the morning of the race our team had raised over $32,000 towards those projects for our school! Dinner ending meant time to get our gear ready for the morning and head to bed. I thought falling asleep would take a lot longer than it mercifully did.

3:45am Sunday morning came so quickly! Many of you who are reading this know how much of a morning person I am not so please appreciate how much I enjoy doing races that I willingly get out of bed at this time of day, so early. Thankfully one of the perks of running as part of Concordia's team, we had access to free shuttles to and from race activities all weekend, so while lots of other runners were getting on the L to head to the race, we got picked up by a shuttle and headed downtown. Once downtown we check in at race day central for our team. We took a team photo, prayed together, and made last stops at the bathroom before heading out to our respective start corrals. 

Adam, Kevin, and I before leaving race day central for our team

Yup, you get to get up early to run. 

Our corral!
Getting in the start corral was so exciting!!! The race became so much more real once we were lined up with thousands of other people Sunday morning. The weather for the race in general was perfect for running - that however meant that standing in a race corral at 7:15 in the morning the weather was FREEZING. Oh well! We were in start corral G which meant our wave was not released until a little after 8am.  From the start of the race all the way to the finish, as I mentioned earlier - is all kind of a blur. An amazing/indescribable/challenging blur - but still a blur. 

In the start corral - these feet carried us from here all the way back to the finish 26.2 miles later :)

Runners as far as you could see, all ready to run

Runners as far as you could see, all ready to run

Finally moving closer to the starting line
After we crossed the finish line, we got our medals and free beers and met up with Kevin & Jordan. We took the L back to our cars and parted ways. Driving back home Sunday night was not as challenging as both Adam and I were expecting. Really just sitting was great after running so far, not as great as showering and collapsing into bed once we got home - but still pretty good! We spent the drive home talking about all the ups and downs of the race - trying to remember every mile and neighborhood we ran through. Today we are definitely still sore from so much running yesterday, the steps up to our apartment haven't gotten any easier to maneuver - but we ran a MARATHON and that is pretty fun to say, sore muscles & feet or not - it was worth it! Not sure what our next big adventure will be, but we'll keep you posted!

Thursday, October 10

Something old, something new...

Well, surprise surprise, life has taken over since my last post (read: I finally got to marry Adam!!!) and now I'm embarrassingly far past due to post a blog update. I have been thinking about what to write for a while - and really what to do with this blog in general. 

Adam & I have been training for our first marathon over these last few months and I do most of my blog brainstorming during runs to keep myself occupied. To backtrack a little - all of this blogging began about 4 years ago, during college, when I started really trying to focus on living a healthier lifestyle - physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This blog was created as an attempt to share all of the above in hopes that it would be encouraging [in some small way] to others. As I transitioned from college in Chicago to an internship in St. Louis - including a big transition of getting engaged - my blogging starting transitioning too. 

Now - I'm married (YAY!!), so a new chapter of blogging has begun. My husband, our families, and our friends are spread out all over the world [literally!] so its kinda cool to get to share life together via something as easy as a blog.

Thanks for being willing to come along for the ride with me. I love the life that God continues to bless me with every day. I am blessed to be surrounded by supportive and loving people. I pray that my actions and conversations will be a blessing to others daily, this blog being one part of the many ways that hopefully happens!

So - with this latest shift in blogging, the web address for this blog as changed to: 

The question that Adam & I get the most when talking to pretty much anyone is "how is the married life?" so now through this blog we'll do our best to keep everyone updated what we are up to! :)

Here are some highlights and pictures (of course) of married life so far. Love you all! 

Our Wedding: BEST DAY EVER. Words can't describe the outpouring of love we experienced on our wedding day. Here is a sneak peak of our day! More pictures to come soon! All photos taken by Modern Image Studios - they also did our engagements photos last year. 

The Honeymoon: For our honeymoon we traveled to Destin, Florida - We both LOVE the beach & all the delicious seafood by beaches too. Wish we could have stayed longer! 

Where we live: Brillion, Wisconsin! Adam moved up here for his internship this past year, which turned into a full-time called position, so after my internship ended this past summer, I moved up too!

Yay for having so many boxes to unpack!
All settled in! - Visitors are ALWAYS welcome :)

Once we got back home from our honeymoon, we left the next day to take Adam's middle schoolers on a retreat at one of the Lutheran camps here in Wisconsin. The next weekend Adam officially got installed as the DCE for Zion Lutheran Church so his family came to visit & celebrate with us! Here are a few things we have been up to since...

Confirmation Camp & A visit from Adam's family!  While they were in town we checked out a local Tall Ships festival, had help assembling Adam's grill, and enjoying spending time all together in our new home

Name changing, Green Bay Packer games, hiking, running, farmer's markets, golf, and checking out Oktoberfest are some of the things we have enjoyed so far.

We got bikes as a wedding present from my parents and we LOVE them - our last biking adventure took us up to Door County to bike around a state park up there, really beautiful!

Alright, that just about covers an overview of life these past couple of months. Hopefully it's obvious that we are loving married life! It's a huge blessing from God that we get to be together and we are super thankful for that. This weekend we head back to Chicago to tackle our first (and maybe last?!) marathon. I'll share more about that tomorrow - and more wedding pictures too. Love you all - again! 

Saturday, June 29

Day 29

Day #29: Share up to 5 pieces of music.

Hello friends, so I am typing today's post on my phone via the Blogger app for the iPhone. Why am I doing this you may ask? Well I am sitting on a coach bus right now (one of 2) that is taking myself, a handful of adults and - most importantly - our High school aged youth from church to San Antonio, Texas! Check out to find out about the event we will be at all of this next week. Us and over 23,000 other people too from all over I might add!

SO back the bus thing - getting like 90 people from St. Louis to Texas has involved me sitting on a bus since 6am this morning.

In a perfect world, since I have known that this trip and the final days of my June blogging challenge would collide I might have considered working on this post some in advance. We all know that didn't happen so here I sit with my little app! 

Alright. Up to 5 pieces of music with memories etc...hmmm.

 Anything by All Time Low reminds me of my first summer working out in Colorado. I ran almost everyday - along with my dear friend Val - and my playlist for running that summer consisted mainly of music from All Time Low (.they also make me think of Adam since he introduced me to them)

Anything by Jack Johnson is just my favorite no matter what. I just love his music, it's always perfect to me and makes me feel  instantly happier or more relaxed or just generally improves my mood without fail.

Random but Gwen Stefani music reminds me of my Senior year of high school - much to my brothers dismay I loved listening and singing along to her latest songs on the way home from school in the afternoons. 

Anything by Kip Fox brings memories of worship. Look up his stuff. The end. 

Can't figure how to post links or anything tonight! Currently about an hour from being in San Antonio! Tomorrow our group is headed to church at a local church in the morning and then will spend the rest of the day doing a service project for a local high school. I'm really looking forward to passing out in a hotel bed tonight!

On. - last thing - I am officially done packing and moved out of my apartment as of early this morning when I turned my keys in!! Can't wait to unpack into my new home in a couples of weeks, yay :)