Monday, February 24

On the road again.

It has officially been a little more than 7 months since I first moved all the way up to the state of Wisconsin. Adam has been here now since the summer of 2012. 
During the first winter that he lived here I could not understand what prevented him from running during the that I am experiencing month 5 of winter here I have a better perspective on why Adam thought it was crazy for me to suggest he run outdoors. Let me preface the rest of this post by saying that this is not going to be a rant about how cold + horrible the weather is, thought that is a true evaluation it is not the primary anyways :) Before the winter officially got underway here I was determined that I wouldn't let a "little snow" get in the way of my running. I knew that after our marathon at the end of October I would take some time off, but surely after a few weeks I would just bundle up and head outside. 
Boy was I ever wrong. I had not ever before considered that there were boundaries weather need to stay in for it to be safe to run outdoors. This may sound like common sense, I knew it could be too hot to run outside but too cold just had never crossed my mind. 

I said in a post a few weeks ago that I had given up on looking at the weather reports. I knew it was going to be cold and that was it. Around that same time I also realized I might go completely crazy if I didn't get out the door for a run. 

After spending an afternoon researching all the information I could find about cold weather running, I began looking at weather reports again. The temperature needed to be above -20 for me to head out the door, safely, I was aiming for above -15. Now let's be serious -15 does not count as a warm temperature, it is just a bare bones stand in for warm enough to run. 

After religiously watching weather patterns for a few days, magically the temperature hit -8 one day! I spent a tedious amount of time making sure that I had no exposed skin. Layering with non-cotton running items. Planning a route that allowed me to get mileage with out running too far from our apartment. I was so excited to be able to run outside that all of this went by quickly and before I could think through things any further I was out the door.  2 miles completed and I was very satisfied to have gotten outside.

That was run #1. Every run since than has been challenging in many new and different ways. I love running and one of the things I love about running are the challenges that come with the activity. Learning about pacing, form, fartleks, tempo runs, long runs, fueling, hydrating...all of that has been really great. Learning how to embrace cold weather running when I know it will be freezing outside, - I am truthfully not enjoying that learning process so far. 
The two toughest parts of my new learning experience are {1} Mentally gearing up to run {2} the unpredictability of the weather. 

Mentally gearing up to run is tough right now because I have a long time from when I find out the weather is in the clear for running to when I get out the door. It's kind of a hassle to have to spend at least 10 minutes layering up to run, instead of just throwing on shorts and a t-shirt and heading out the door. That time of physical preparation gives me plenty of time to realize how much I hate running in frigid weather. 
All of the layers. The top left picture is from my first run in negative temperatures
Weather unpredictability is tough because I can plan out a week of running goals and all it takes is one inclement weather problem to derail my goals. Sometimes I do not know if a run will be possible until I actually gear up, get out the door, and try to head out for the run. For example. Last week the temperature was high enough that it was safe to run and bonus the sun was out too - all signs a go for a run. I got out the door only to find that all of the roads were covered in sheets of ice. After almost falling twice and realizing that the ice was endless, I was forced to head back inside. Today is another example. The temperature was high enough + sun was out + roads were clear but the wind was too cutting. After trying to make it down the street, I was forced to turn around since I couldn't breathe in the cold air - even through my scarf. Again, very defeating.

So, while I am in this season of learning to love running in a new way I thought I would share what that has been like so far. One thing I do when running in general is remember good runs when I am in the middle of a hard run. I am thankful for the many miles I have shared with friends + family in races over the last 6 years and {in spite of cold weather} look forward to many more miles to come!

These are pictures from all of the races I have done so far. My first event was Phil's Friends 5K Walk/Run  on September 28, 2008. I ran it with my college soccer team. My most recent race was the Chicago Marathon last October 13, 2013.

Monday, February 17

Round 2.

After getting off to a reasonably good start to a week last Monday & being so determined to be thankful for things each day, let's just say my plans for the week disintegrated as the week went on. Monday + Tuesday were innocent enough but then Wednesday arrived. Wednesday in and of itself was not the issue, the issue was that I woke up with a sore throat and by the end of the day felt all the symptoms of a cold coming on...again.

After Adam + I being sick at the end of January I was pretty sure that would be our little sickness for this winter and we were good. Apparently I was very wrong as I spent Thursday-Saturday feeling less than awesome. This was one of those colds were you have zero energy, everything hurts and on top of it all you can't really breathe, ugh. I was really disappointed at the timing of this sickness because it meant missing most of the basketball tournament that Adam's team was playing in this weekend. I got to see their last game yesterday afternoon since I finally started to feel human again.  His team took 3rd place in their league tournament which was exciting :)

As I was laying around being sick and exhausted these last few days, I couldn't help but think back to the first time I got sick while I was in college. Read: The first time being sick without Mom to take care of you. My freshman year of college was something of a shock to my immune system. Sharing a bathroom & living spaces with 40 other girls was not exactly a germ-free thing. Growing up with siblings I was used to the whole family ending up sick if one person was...but a sickness getting around to 5-8 people is nothing compared to a whole dorm's worth of college freshman. YIKES. I guess that being sick without mom around is part of growing up, but I don't think anyone likes that particular right of passage.

Adam and I have been together for almost 5 years now and have gotten to take care of each other during a sickness or two during that time. One time our Junior year of college we were both sick with some awful cold/flu type of thing and had no medicine so a trip to the store was in order. Neither one of us felt any better than the other so we both trudged out to the store together for moral support. Adam had called his mom before we left to find out what medicine she usually gave him. When we got to the store, the kind of medicine he was looking for was behind the counter - so as we talked with the pharmacist on duty the pharmacist started trying to talk Adam into getting a different medicine. That conversation lasted all of 1 minute before Adam declared that "his mom told him to get the medicine he was asking for and that was what he was going to get". It was at that point that I think the pharmacist finally realized he was dealing with two sick and very cranky college students, ha! We got the medicine and left, but that story always makes me laugh. :)

These last few days, Adam has been the best at making sure I got lots of rest and had everything I needed, which is something for which I am incredibly thankful - including some things I didn't need, like heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast one morning and renting a new movie to watch. :)

*Side note: We rented Captain Phillips and really enjoyed it, if any of you are looking for a movie recommendation!

So all in all, last week + this past weekend did not turn out quite like I had planned or wanted for that matter - but that is okay. Thankful for another, healthier, week ahead.

Happy Valentine's Day to me :) Loved by a very caring husband.

Tuesday, February 11

Mondays & Chinese Food.

"Enjoy today" is what I try to tell myself every time a Monday rolls around. It's too easy to get sucked into feeling sorry for ourselves on Monday the traditional day of the week for complaining. Weekend is over, work to be done, should have slept more last night...I mean I don't have to type out a longer list of potential complaints for a Monday - you could probably add a few more of your own without having too think too hard ;) 

Yesterday as I worked to have a good day + start to the week, I spent time reflecting on what I could be thankful for from the weekend & praying for the week ahead. So today, I thought I would share some of those thankful things here. I should add that nothing really remarkable happened over the weekend, most of our time was spent at high school + middle school basketball games...but that's the point, still lots to be thankful for!                                         

{Friday} I was really thankful on Friday to get caught up on our laundry. For only needing to do laundry for 2 people, it amazes me how much laundry we generate - it also always amazes me at how time consuming it can be to wash/dry/fold/put away clothes {Maybe it's just me but seriously from start to finish laundry does take time} The way our apartment is set up our washer/dryer are in a separate closet in our bedroom. At the beginning of last week it was one of those weeks where Adam started referring to our dryer as his second I decided I should invest some time in finishing our laundry before the weekend hit. Mission accomplished, always satisfying to check something off the list!

{Saturday} We had a full day of basketball games ahead of us on Saturday. Usually on Saturday mornings we like to make a big breakfast together, so as we were hurrying to get ready to leave for basketball games starting at 9am, I was a little bummed that we would have to skip Saturday breakfast...that was until we realized we had read the games schedule wrong and the first game wasn't until 10! :) This meant we had an extra hour in our morning and since we were already awake & ready for the day - we still got to have Saturday breakfast, yay!!!

{Sunday} Church, more basketball games, + high school youth group were the main events on Sunday. After a full day I was very thankful to catch the end of the Olympics for the day + we opened a bottle of wine from Japan that Allison + John had sent us for Christmas. Good memories of our time there, can't wait for them finish their time in Okinawa this year!!!

{Monday} After our weekend was full of basketball games, we did not have a lot of spare time to make it to the grocery store which is why I was so thankful when Adam came home from work and our dinner plan was getting take-out from the local Chinese place. Maybe something ironic about eating Chinese food and watching the Olympics but oh well. So as we all look at our week ahead, I pray that you all find encouragement + motivation to not grumble or complain about whatever they hold, but instead find thankful moments.

Monday, February 3


Happy first Monday of February. For me its hard to believe that it's already the second month of the year & for Adam, he thought February would never get here! Either way, February means 2 things (1) we are getting another month closer to warmer weather and (2) as of yesterday, Adam & I have been married for 6 months [insert happy dance here]. *Health update, Adam seems to have finally gotten rid of his cough and we are back to normal health around here, praise God!

I realize most all of you do not likely have February 2nd marked down as an important day on your calendars but for us newlyweds, 6 months is fun to celebrate! Plus I am a fan of opportunities to reflect back and dream forward. It is still basketball season here, so this past weekend was primarily spent at basketball games but Saturday night was free for once so we jumped on the chance to have a date-night out. Bonus that the Duke/Syracuse game was on and we had front seats at the bar.

In honor of our halfayearsary + my love of making lists, enjoy 6 moments from our marriage so far!

6 {Number of family budget meetings we have had} 

This past fall we took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class together and have diligently been working together to manage our family's money wisely. The first couple of budgets we did together took a long time, it has just been in the last month or so that we feel like we are getting the hang of working our budget together. I honestly look forward to our budget meetings mainly because we get to intentionally be on the same page about money which takes a lot of stress out of purchasing decisions each month. I am thankful for a husband who motivates me to want to be invested in our finances!

5 {Number of seasons in Breaking Bad we have watched together} 

After hearing from many people that we needed to watch Breaking Bad, we finally started + finished watching it on Netflix last fall. One of the best shows we have seen, it lived up to all the hype and more. (Minus several scenes where I just closed my eyes, I don't really do blood well) Especially after our year of living 10 hours apart, I am thankful for simple things we get to do together - like enjoy the same TV show in the same room.

4 {Number of special occasions we have celebrated together as husband + wife}

Since getting married we have now celebrated Adam's Birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, & rang in the New Year. Even dating, we never celebrated Thanksgiving or Christmas together - so it was extra special this year to spend those holidays together. Also, we had a lot of fun figuring out what types of traditions we wanted to try as our family now! One thing we forget to discuss pre-holiday was our Christmas stockings. Adam comes from a family where they open their stockings at the end of presents + I come from a family were we opened our stockings at the beginning of presents. We were both surprised on Christmas day when we started opening gifts and Adam went to grab a present from under the tree + I went to grab our stockings. We had a nice laugh about it :) We were blessed to get to see some part of our families for Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years too.
From our holiday road trip!

3 {Number of times we have rearranged our apartment since moving in}

I love figuring out new ways to decorate, rearrange furniture and re-hang pictures. Maybe a little too much, but Adam has very mostly patiently & willingly helped me rearrange our living room space & our bedroom on several occasions. We continue to love our apartment! Two of my favorite aspects of our apartment are the tall ceilings in our main living space + that we get a lot of natural light in our apartment. Adam loves our garage, since that keeps him from having to dig the car out every time it snows. Guests are always welcome by the way - we love entertaining + having visitors anytime :)
You can check out this post from last fall if you want to see pictures of the last set-up.

2 {Number of jobs we have, also the number of time we brush our teeth together each day if you were wondering}

When I first moved up to Wisconsin right before our wedding, and for the better part of the last 6 months, there were not any job opportunities outside of the home for me. We have always known that both of us being employed in youth ministry would be a unique thing. As we are constantly reminded in new and different ways each day - God is good and takes care of us. For me to start working for a church this January was/is a blessing.

*Concerning our teeth brushing habits, I promised transparency this year with blog posts, so I didn't want to leave that detail out, you're welcome. I prefer Crest toothpaste if you were wondering, Adam prefers whatever is on sale but compromises to Crest for my sake.

{1 amazing wedding to start it all :: August 2nd, 2013}

Getting married to each other was the best thing ever + we were so loved by all our family and friends in the process. Looking back at our wedding week + day there were many incredible and priceless memories made. It is amazing to experience God's love working through other people and our wedding was no exception. Everyday Adam + I pray together that we would love each other more as God loves us + continue to grow closer to each other as we grow closer to God. 6 months down and a lifetime to go!


{All of our grandparents together}
{All of our parents together}
{Almost all of our siblings together}

{Maid of Honor}
{Best Man} 
{Father of the Bride}

Wedding photos credit: Modern Image Studios | Brian Powers Photography