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nothing sweeter

Happy Friday!

This morning what started out as a bad attitude ended up as an amazing run.  Lately, the husband and I have been trying to do our short runs together before he goes to work in the morning, which works out great because he doesn’t have to do his at lunch, and I can get my workday started extra early.  But this morning, as soon as I opened my eyes I knew it was later than it should be.  We overslept by a good 45 minutes and had to rush just to get ready in time.  I really didn’t feel like driving down to the park to do my run, and I debated between that and just running on the street.  I don’t like to run on the streets by myself out here because there are a lot of loose dogs…but I also really don’t love doing laps where one time around equals less than 1 mile.  But alas I decided to get my butt down to the park and get it done.


I played a little trick by telling myself that I could walk as much as I wanted, but I had to get in the four miles.  Worked like a charm. I ended up not walking at all and finished in record time (for this race training anyway).


I actually started off a bit slow and the first mile was a bit uncomfortable – about 10:30 pace – but I steadily increased my pace throughout and then kicked it into high gear, running the last mile at 8:30.

The whole time I just kept chanting to myself “it’s okay to be uncomfortable!”  One thing I’ve learned about running is that there is a difference between pain and discomfort.  If I’m experiencing pain, I stop.  Because nothing is worth sacrificing my body.  But if I’m just feeling uncomfortable, I take that as a sign to push harder and get through it.  Pushing through discomfort always garners the best results.  Running (at least training for longer distances) isn’t necessarily supposed to easy.  If it was easy, then everyone would do it, right?  If it was easy, then crossing the finish line wouldn’t feel like someone just handed over all you’ve ever wanted wrapped up with a little bow on top.  Hard is worth it.  Uncomfortable is worth it.

I am so excited about this weekend because my BIL and SIL who live in Tulsa are out of town, and they offered to let us (me+husband+Olive) stay at their house.  We miss our furry baby so much it hurts, and nothing could make this weekend better than getting to spend the whole thing with her (and each other). I’m thinking there will be lots of exploring Tulsa, Lost marathons (we’re re-watching all the seasons), naps, photo taking and a long run on Sunday (followed by another nap:).

This past week hasn’t been an easy one.  I’ve been pretty stressed about all the job stuff (read: I don’t have one), and I’ve really been struggling with wishing away time.  I just want to get to June so we can move into our house and feel like we’ve officially transitioned to our new life; this in-between stage doesn’t suit me very well.  I know there is goodness and joy to be found in every stage of life we experience, and I’m trying to step back and focus on all the blessings in my life.  I think the more I try to seek out happiness despite my circumstances, the harder it is to find.  Happiness has to be felt inside, and it stems from contentment and finding joy in the little things – breathing in fresh air, the intense flavor of dark chocolate on the tongue, having the ability to see all the bright colors emerging with the new season. The more I remind myself of how wonderful it is to be able to see, feel, smell and experience every moment of life, the more it becomes ingrained as a natural part of my day.  Moving from the negative to the positive.

And speaking of the positive – this family that I told you about a few months ago is finally getting their sweet little girl this weekend.  I can’t imagine many things that could be sweeter.

Takes a deep breath, wonders at the air rushing out of her lungs and steeps in the peace found in this moment of being alive.

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starting with a rant and ending with a happy friday!

Warning: rant ahead.

Can I just say that sometimes I really hate technology?  K, thanks.  Sometimes I REALLY hate technology.  For a long time I had trouble figuring out a good workflow for taking pictures, editing and uploading them and then saving them without overloading (read: sloooowing down) my computer.  Finally, a few months ago, the husband and I brainstormed and came up with a decent flow.  It was still kind of a pain in the you know what, but it was better than before.

Step A – Take photos
Step B – Remove card from camera and plug it into the camera using a USB camera card adapter
Step C – Open photos and immediately delete any that are not worthy of keeping.
Step D – Move all remaining photos to a folder on the desktop.
Step E – One by one, drag photos into Photoshop for editing.  After editing each one, save it to the same folder, but with a different name (I don’t want to lose my unedited raw images)
Step F – Upload the entire folder into Flickr, labeling it by date and tagging as needed
Step G – As soon as a few folders have accumulated on the desktop, copy them to a DVD and store in a safe place.
Step H – Delete photos from the desktop

Sounds pretty involved, right?  Well, that would be the reason why there are currently about twenty folders of pictures on our desktop.  I really need to take a day (or a week) and upload all of them to Flickr and then copy to DVDs.  But let’s get back to the reason why I hate technology right now.

So everything was going just fine until about a week ago when my camera card USB adapter stopped working.  Walmart special, people.  Apparently the only option of getting photos onto the computer without it is plugging the entire camera into the computer via the cord that came with it (which I’ve learned is not too good for the camera or the card).  The biggest problem with that method is that you can only import the photos through iPhoto, and iPhoto does not accept raw.  Which means I can’t edit using Photoshop. Bah.

On top of that, it seems that the husband nor I can get much service on our phones out in these parts.  So, any photos I take with my iPhone are essentially useless because I can’t get enough of a connection to email them to myself.

Anyway, I took some pictures earlier today with my dslr, and now I can’t even get them to upload through iPhoto.  The “import” button is grayed out and it won’t let me select it.  Needless to say, this post is going to be utterly pictureless.

That’s all.

———————–

This morning I went for a four mile run per my half marathon training, and it was a tough one!  Some runs are just that way.  I kind of felt like I was dragging the whole time, and my pace was up and down like a kid on a rollercoaster.  I finished in 40:52.  I got to thinking though, that when I have a super tough run but I stick with it and push through I probably do just as much or more for my training than when I sail through.  So score one point for building up endurance and mental power!

For lunch I poured 3/4 cup of Amy’s Vegan chili over a bed of greens with an apple (I’m on a huge apple kick right now!) on the side.  A spin off my current favorite easy lunch.  It was the first time I’d had the chili, and it was pretty good. Honestly the crumbled tofu in it was so similar to the consistency of ground meat that I almost couldn’t enjoy it.  I had to keep telling myself over and over again – it’s not an animal, it’s not an animal.

This afternoon I’m heading to the city to get a haircut.  A couple of people asked me about it recently, and for the record I am growing out my pixie cut…at least for the time being.  I’m trying to be really low maintenance and not get worked up about the bad “inbetween phase,” but as we speak there is a mullet inching its way down the back of my neck, and it must be reigned in.  Hopefully at my appointment today, I can get it cleaned up a little bit but lose as little ground as possible on the path to longer hair.  This will be my first time to get it cut since we moved, so I’m going to somebody completely new, which makes me a little nervous.  Cross your fingers for me!

The husband and I are going on a little date tonight.  My friend and fellow Okie, Amber, emailed me today, saying there will be live music at this cute little bookstore tonight.  So, we may stop by there.  We shall see how it goes.  Also definitely going to be stopping by BestBuy to get a new camera card reader, so tomorrow there will be lots of pretty pictures!  Spring has almost arrived here, and I’ve been doing my best to capture it.

And before I go – a few old pictures of our sweet baby just because I miss her so much.

her favorite spot – on dad’s freshly ironed clothes

second best to hanging her head out the window


Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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random musings on a snow day

As promised, we got quite the snowfall overnight, and today the husband and I both got a snow day!  I love snow days because they’re the perfect excuse to stay home with the husband all day and be lazy get lots of stuff done!  We’ve now found out that we’ll be having another snow day tomorrow.  On my agenda: pack pack pack. We have three weeks left in our house, and I haven’t boxed up one thing.  eek.

Unfortunately I really wasn’t too productive today…but I don’t really feel bad about it.  We slept in about an hour later than usual and then got up and made some amazing breakfast.

I used a whole wheat boxed mix and then spread natural peanut butter on one half and Earth Balance on the other.  Topped with pure maple syrup and banana slices.  So gooooood.

After breakfast we got a little bit of work done in the office and then layered up and spent some time out in the snow!

This was the most snow we’ve had this year by far, and it was so pretty.


Olive is the funniest thing – she isn’t a big fan of the snow and acts like she’s going to die if she has to be in it for more than about 5 seconds.  We took her out with us for about 10 minutes and she was trembling all over in her little coat. Poor baby.  At one point, she and the husband were on the porch and I was out in the yard, so I started calling to her, trying to get her to come to me.  She minds us so well that when I started calling her she kept thinking about coming, but really didn’t want to get in the snow.  Finally I won her over.

She lasted about four seconds.  But it sure was cute.

We spent the rest of the afternoon napping, cuddling, watching movies, eating…and now at 11pm we’re finally getting some work done.  That’s the way we roll I guess.

In other news, I know I talked about this a little bit already, but I’ve decided to try and get a full-time job.  I figure the husband and I could really use the money as we’re moving into our new house, and seeing as how we’re becoming “live-ins” with one of our sets of parents, I don’t think I want to be home all the time!  I’m really struggling with what to do during this transition period.  I really want to keep doing what I’ve been doing – tutoring, yoga, working on the biz – but I think it would be beneficial for me to branch out and try something new (full-time) for awhile.  Once we have little ones, I want to be a stay-at-home mom, so now’s the time if I want to work again.

Some of the ideas so far (some far better than others): zoo worker, Starbucks shift manager, emergency dispatcher, and the one that I’ve actually applied for and am somewhat excited about – supervisor for a children’s program at a hospital.  I’ve also considered going back to teaching, but I really need something right now.

If you guys have any great ideas – send them my way!!

And now for some random thoughts to end the evenings:

  • I am missing Thailand so much lately!  I can’t stop thinking about it.
  • It’s always a bad idea go out in foot deep snow wearing ankle socks
  • Splitting a 1lb bag of peanut m&m’s with your husband over the course of 2 days is not wise
  • Never wait until the night before a snowstorm to hit up Walmart
  • If you are on city water and you lose electricity, you WILL still have water
  • Old houses = cold

I’m off now to get some sleep – my eyes are getting very heavy.  Hope you all had a great Tuesday!

Did you get any snow? What kind of job do you do (if you don’t mind sharing!)?

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peace in heart and body

Well, I’m coming in a day late with my recap of the weekend. The husband and I spent most of the weekend in our new city, and I spent this morning playing catch up with some of the things I didn’t get to even think about doing.

On Friday I really enjoyed hearing all of your stories about geese!  I had no idea that so many people were afraid of them, ha!  It seems that several of you have some kind of scarring memory about a run-in with a goose as a child – never knew they could be such ferocious creatures.  In fairness I think I must clarify that I was catching the smaller, cuter white ducks…not the geese as shown in the picture.  And it sounds like it’s a good thing based on all your stories!

As I mentioned on Friday, we went to a party with our Sunday school class.  We played a game that Jonathan and I had gotten for Christmas called What’s Yours Like?  I was a bit skeptical about it in the beginning, but it ended up being pretty fun!  Everyone had brought different desserts, and there was definitely no shortage of sugar.  I took cupcakes as planned, and I’m excited to share them with you tomorrow!  They were a hit.  No one knew they were vegan, and our friend Greg went back for a second which let me know that they truly passed the test:)

Saturday we got up and after doing some tasks around the house, headed to the city.  We had plans to drive through our future neighborhood to get some ideas for the exterior of our house.  Jonathan carefully crafted a fun design that resembles a craftsman style, and now we’re just trying to get inspired about a color scheme.  While we recognize that building a house is going to be a lot of work, we are pumped to get to pick out everything and make it unique to our style as much as possible. We also met with our builder and signed our contract! Our names are written in blood…there’s not turning back.  Yay!  Building should start in the next month, and we’re looking at about 4ish months until it will be done.

gotta love that Oklahoma red dirt

The biggest decision (of many) that we are trying to make right now is where we’re going to live between now and the time our house gets done, which will be around the end of June.  Both Jonathan’s parents and my mom and step-dad have graciously offered to let us live with them.  We are so thankful for family who are supportive and will sacrifice to help us out. But the big decision is looming of which one to go with.  Jonathan’s parents live about one hour and fifteen minutes from his job, so he would have to commute back and forth everyday, which would be really taxing on him.  Especially considering he’ll be working on Outbox in the evenings as well.  My mom and step-dad only live about thirty-five minutes from his job, but the situation is such that Olive cannot live with us there.  So, we would need to figure out somewhere else for her to live, and it will be really hard for us to have to be away from her for 4 months.  I honestly cannot imagine it right now.  I know some people probably think that is crazy, but those of you who have pets surely understand…right?  But living with my family would be so much less draining of a commute for Jonathan, and more convenient all around (i.e. dropping by our house to check progress, finding a church to get involved in in the city etc).  If we are unable to find somewhere for her to live, then that will obviously make our decision…but even if we do find somewhere we are still torn as to what to do.  Too many decisions!!  The good news is we love both of our families, and living with either one, while being an adjustment, will be great.  We are very blessed. I’m hoping to get some new perspective from you guys on this!

Anyway, so Saturday night we headed to my hometown and got to watch my little cousin play basketball.  I hadn’t seen her play in years, and I had the best time!  I was a super proud cousin too because she played so great.  I think she scored the first ten points of the game all by herself!  She’s super cute, too:)

My sister played on the state championship team when she was a junior, and now a giant picture of her team hangs in the gym.  We got a huge kick out of taking our picture with the Cristen of 1998…I’m sure anyone walking by thought we were ridiculous, but that combined with my cousin being so embarrassed was what made it quite funny.  Maybe you had to be there.

The husband and I partied late with my family and didn’t get back home until late. We spent Sunday morning at church, and then headed to the city once again to meet my mom and step-dad to show them our lot and walk through a house that has our floor plan.  It was fun!  But I realized one thing really quickly – looking at houses after you’ve already signed a contract for yours is like looking at wedding dresses after you’ve already made the purchase for your big day.  Not a good idea.

All in all it was a busy busy weekend, but I’m pretty sure that’s becoming the norm these days….and we’re okay with that. I’m really making every effort possible to stay in a routine in the important areas of my life during this super chaotic time.  I’ll be sharing much of the journey with you as the months go by!  And for starters, that’s going to mean getting a lot more sleep.

The last few days I’ve been focusing more on getting a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables in my body.  When things get busy, stressful and/or crazy, the first thing I tend to slack on is having fresh food around.  While we were in the city I picked up Kris Carr’s new book, and I’ve really been enjoying it the last couple of days.  Sometimes a little inspiration goes a long way!  I’ll share more about the book as I keep reading, but so far it has really helped me get back on track.

I’ve been starting each day off with some warm lemon water, which is great for your skin (and we all know I need that!).

Green monsters have also been a daily staple.  Unfortunately the other day I ran out of spinach, so I got creative and decided to try broccoli!

I wouldn’t recommend it.  The only way I got the entire thing down was to chase each sip with water and picture all the amazing nutrients coursing through my veins with every swig.  It was not pretty.  I think I’ll stick to leafy greens for now.

I also had an apple mid morning

For lunch yesterday I threw together a concoction I haven’t had before, and it totally rocked!

baked sweet potato, Earth Balance, black beans, salsa, broccoli

I’ve always thought I only like sweet potatoes baked as rounds or fries, but those days are long gone!  I do think the key for me was having different foods mixed in with each potato bite – it helped break up the mushy texture, and all the flavors worked so well together.  Delicious!

Unfortunately, last night didn’t exactly go as planned.  The husband and I got a late start to the grocery store, and by the time we got done with all our shopping it was 9pm.  I was so tired and hungry, so we stopped at our favorite mexican restaurant.  I ordered two black bean tacos and ate a couple handfuls of tortilla chips.  Not exactly clean fresh food on the chips, but not a bad choice for a restaurant either!

One thing I love about Kris’s book so far is her stance on perfection.  It coincides exactly with my thoughts on the topic.

“The crazy sexy diet (not a diet, but a lifestyle) is an optimum way of life.  Let it be your foundation, a home base to come back to whenever you veer off.  The cleanse is intended to give you freedom from obstruction and liberation… It’s not meant to create or support more stress in your life.  As I said earlier, there’s no such thing as perfection.  Perfect is beige.  Obsessing over every bite is completely contrary to the purpose ans spirit of my book.  Your overall goal is to have a peaceful feeling in your heart and in your body.

With that, I’m off to bed…I hope you all had a great weekend and are enjoying the start to the week!

Any advice on our living situation?  What would you do?
Less than half the commute, but being separated from our baby?  Or a much further commute, but keeping our little family together?  Ahhh!

What was the best moment of your weekend?

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olive

I have to say I do believe we have the funniest little dog there ever was.

Something you may not know about me is that I dreamed of having a Yorkshire Terrier from the first time I ever saw one.  I don’t know if it was their tiny size, their silky silver hair, the fact that they don’t shed or something else, but I was hooked.  I spent many years really truly believing that I would never have one because they’re a little bit costly, so I would just gaze at them from afar when I’d see one while trying to contain my envy.

So, you can imagine my disbelief and excitement when some friends of ours in Thailand asked us to dog sit their yorkie and a friend’s yorkie for a couple of weeks right before we were about to head back to the states.  What luck!

At the point that the husband and I decided we would return to the states instead of staying a second year in Thailand, we started talking about getting a dog.  We’re both dog lovers, and we felt that it was time for us to take on a little more responsibility, a third member of the family if you will.  During our long talks about what kind of dog we would get, we discussed all kinds of different breeds, and it didn’t take long for me to win the husband over to Yorkies as well.  With one stipulation that is.  I had to promise to never, ever, ever…..put a bow in its hair.

While I wasn’t happy about his aversion to bows, obviously it was an easy deal to make.  And so it was decided…a yorkie it would be.

Needless to say, going into our dog sitting days we were so excited because not only would we get to hang out with two yorkies, but we’d also get a taste of what it would be like to become yorkie parents.

Over those two weeks, we fell absolutely in love with Mocha and Lilly.

They were the sweetest, cutest dogs I’d ever met.  They’d follow anywhere we went in the house, and they always wanted to be as close to us as possible.  They were well behaved, they didn’t shed and again, they always wanted to be as close to us as possible.  How sweet is that?

I think we were back in Oklahoma for about a month at most before we started the search.

And then we found her.

She was the one that wanted to lay in the corner, liquid brown eyes staring, too shy to come over and play, but sweet as pie if you picked her up and cuddled her.  Her mom told us that she was holding out on selling her because she wanted to make sure she went to a home that would show her an abundant amount of love and attention.  She was special.

By the way – she doesn’t have glowing blue eyes. Our camera was a little rough at the time.

We were sold.

That same sweet little Olive did the funniest thing yesterday.  Like Mocha and Lilly, she never wants to leave our side when we’re at home.  But now she’s taken it to a whole new level.

I was working at the computer in our office when she trotted in from the living room and hopped up onto my lap.  Just like I always do I started scratching her back and rubbing her little ears.  And then without warning, she stood up, turned toward the computer and jumped up onto the computer desk.  It was the strangest thing she’s ever done.  I just sat there laughing at her, and within the next several minutes she went from this:

to this:

I may be like one of those parents who thinks everything their kid does is SO cute, but seriously?  Does it get cuter than this?

She spent about the next hour assuming all kinds of different positions on all different parts of the desk, dozing off and on as I worked away.

She has brought so much fun, happiness and love into our lives in the last two years…and I honestly can’t imagine our lives without her.

Are you a dog person?  If so, what kind of dog do you have?  Does he/she ever do something completely funny and out of character?  Let’s talk dogs!

Happy Friday:)

**Don’t forget to click over and enter my giveaway!  I’m dreaming up lots of crazy stuff to put in the secret package. muahaha.

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