Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Reading Blowout!

I've been avoiding blogging again!  For the same reason as last year too; if I open the laptop to blog, then I'll get on facebook, pinterest, goodreads, etc. and then the day is wasted - well at least a good portion of it.  That's what happened today - I needed to balance the checkbook, pay some bills and check my church email account.  Thankfully, I'm smart enough to not even go to pinterest because it's literally been weeks since I've been there so I know better than to just take a peek. 

I figured I'd give an update on my summer reading goals! I set a goal to read 15 books this summer and I'm 47% done already.  I picked out some books I wanted to read, but have gotten off track of that list and I'm not sure I'm gonna stick to it - I've come across a few other books I'd rather read first.  But here is what I've already read and what I think of it:

Our lifegroup was reading this and we finished up right around the time my challenge started so goodreads counted it towards my goal.  It was absolteuly amazing and I recommend it to any Christian who doesn't just want to be the stereotypical "Christian" but a true, Bible believing, follower of Christ.  The title doesn't disappoint, it is Radical.

I've had this book on my shelf for awhile and finally brought myself to read it.  The only thing that got me through it was my goal to read so many books this summer and I desperately needed to finish so I could start something good.  I was looking for advice on how to deal with my strong willed child but I didn't find much advice in there.  It talked an awful lot about what a strong willed child is like, but I'm already aware.  There were a few things I found helpful but not really.  Disappointed.

Next I read this book.  Our lifegroup did a study on this before Radical but I wasn't able to read the book with the study.  I'm so glad I took the time to read it.  It is along the same lines of Radical and is really inspiring.

Another disappointment. I checked this book out way back in February determined to read some of the books that people consider classics.  There was about 4 pages of interesting material towards the end of the book.  I found it to be incredibly awful and a huge waste of my time :(

Finally, something worth reading!!  I flew through this book in a matter of days and I immediately went to the store to buy the sequel.  When the movie came out I had never even heard of the books and didn't really think it would be my time of thing (sort of like Twilight), but I decided to give it a chance.  Really good - I give it 5 stars! 

Like I said, I went out and bought this immediately and finished it in two days.  When I finished I panicked because it leaves such a cliffhanger and I didn't have the third book yet and we were out camping so I couldn't just go get it.  But I've got it now and will start tonight :)

I originally bought this when I bought The Hunger Games but held off because The Hunger Games was so good I wanted to read the series. But when I didn't have the third book I started this one.  Initially it was hard to get into coming right off of the Hunger Games series because that was so fast faced but it got good fast.  The sex scenes were very detailed and I think the book would be just as good without those details, but that's just me. I found myself very intrigued by the relationship between Christian and Ana and was crying with Ana at the end.  I was super sad with the ending but have hope with the next two books.  I went to pick up book 2 and 3 today along with the third book in Hunger Games but they were out of book 2 - giving me an excuse to read the third Hunger Games book.

I'm still looking for book suggestions!  Follow me on!  Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hannah's Birthday Interview - 2012

OMG! My baby girl has turned 5!!  Wow is really all I can think of.  Matt and I both have told her she didn't have permission to turn 5 :)  She'll be starting kindergarten in the fall which is just super crazy!  For her birthday we had a cookout at home for friends and family.  It was all rainbow themed and hopefully I'll get a few pictures up shortly.  She had a great time and we're super thankful for all those who came out to share in the celebration!  

Here is the newest birthday interview!

What is your name:Hannah
How old are you: 5
What grade are you in: Kindergarten
What school do you go to: Pearl Zample (officially known as Pearl Sample, but she pronounces it with the "z")
Who is/are your best friend(s): Hayley and Daddy
What do you want to be when you grow up: a cowgirl that rides ponies and rainbow dash and dusty (those are names of the ponies)
What was the best part of being 4: going to school and playing with my friends
What are you looking forward to about being 5: to go to kindergarten
What activities do you do: dance and I just graduated from school
Food: corn and broccoli with cheese on top and noodles
Drink: chocolate milk and ice water
Color: blue
Book: a princess book
Show: Spongebob and Dora
Movie: Barbie and the Princess Charm School
Game: Nickelodeon Wii Game
Toy: Barbies and squinkies
Animal: horses and piggies

Anyway we can slow down this next year? I don't think I can do 6.... :/

Friday, May 11, 2012

Summer Reading

One of my favorite past times is to just sit back and relax with a book!  But the past few years the only books I have time to read are textbooks so I really haven't been able to read as much as I like.  Last year, I took part in the Goodreads Book Challenge and read 8 books during the summer.  This year my challenge is to just read, read, read.  I didn't really have a particular number at first, just as many as I can get my hands on, but my list keeps growing and I want to finish them all this summer.  So I've set an official goal of 15 books - yikes!!

Here is what is on my list (in no particular order):

I didn't realize this was a book when the movie came out but my sister let me know.  Like any other book turned movie, I need to read the book first!

I've been following Matt Logelin and his beautiful daughter since her birth and am mad at myself that I haven't read his book yet.

I've heard this is a great book everywhere from facebook to the gym.  I hear it's steamy so I'm a little nervous....

I read Heaven is for Real and LOVED it.  This book is about an adult and his experience in Heaven.

On the flip side...  You could say I'm nervous about this read too...but I hear it's really good!

 I really think I may be reading this book first.  The only Apple product I own is an iPod and I barely know how to operate it but this man fascinates me and I was truly sadden to hear of his untimely death.

I heart Francis Chan.  His book, Crazy Love was great but I hear this one is awesome too!

I'm giving in to the hype and am going to read it.  I had absolutely no interest in the whole Twilight thing but am going to give this a chance... *sigh*

I checked this book out way back in February and never got past the first few pages.  If it's interesting I'll finish it up and pick out another classic!

Our Life Group did this study and it was awesome so I really want to take the time to follow up with the book (and hopefully the devotional)!

I have had this book for awhile now but after being bored to death with his other book, Bringing up Girls, I never picked it up.  I'm desperate for any help/advice I can get at this point for a particular daughter and began reading it today!  The first few pages describe our situation to a "T" and I finally feel like there is hope!

I don't know why but I am quite intrigued to read this.  I heard it was interesting and fascinating and I am really interested in what it has to say!

And that's the beginning... I love memoirs and biographies on controversial and popular figures and I love just a good drama.  I love Brad Meltzer and I'm sad that none of his books are even on this list.  Maybe if I read like superwoman I can get a few in! You may have noticed a few other books in my picture not on the list.  One I checked out from the library but I'm thinking I'm just going to return it and focus on my list.  I can't help it, when I'm in the library I love to check out books even when I don't have time to read them.  The other two my brother-in-law let me borrow and they're definitely in the mix to be read soon!

So, what are your suggestions for a must-read this summer?  Anyone have any of these I can borrow?



Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pain? No Gain

I'm super bummed out.  11 weeks of running and I finally get through my first 5K and I'm sidelined with an injury.  I've fought through the pain to get me to the race, lots of hip pain and back pain and shin splints that I thought I left behind WEEKS ago.  But it's important to remember that you can't always fight through the pain or you really won't get far!

See, after I finished my 5K race I was determined to keep up with the running.  I wasn't hurting after the race too badly, just my right hip.  I felt fine on Sunday and headed to the gym Monday!  I knew I wasn't going to be able to run a regular workout so I thought I would run/walk a mile or so and then hit the elliptical.  BAD. IDEA.  My shins have never hurt so bad in my life.  I could barely walk.  Another bad idea was continuing through the run/walk (I think I ran for 7 minutes and walked 15-20).   Both legs hurt but the pain is super bad in my left leg.

Tuesday came and I iced as much as I could.  We had a softball scrimmage for the church league that we play in and running to first base 3 times almost left me in tears.  I could barely walk again.  I told the coach I couldn't do anymore.  Wednesday the trainer at the gym said to stick with the stationary bike and not to even do the elliptical, let alone the treadmill.  Thankfully that didn't bother my legs and allowed me to get in workout (even if my fitbit didn't pick up on it) and keep up a routine.  I know that if I don't make it to the gym, injury or not, it will be easier to not go again the next time.

On Friday I was still in pain.  The trainer freaked me out at the gym telling me to be careful of a blood clot - I went to bed panicked that night :) If it wasn't better this weekend then I would go to the doctors on Monday.  Saturday was awful, and Sunday was just as bad.  I'm icing as much as I can and as soon as the motrin wears off the pain returns.

Monday I woke up and felt good.  My leg didn't hurt and I debated on actually going to the doctors.  But since it's Monday morning I figured I better call and make an appointment just in case my leg starts hurting later in the day.  It hurt some, but I could tell the ice, motrin and lack of running was finally paying off.  The doctor offered to x-ray my leg but since it was feeling better, she suggested that I continue the regimen of ice, motrin and rest. She never really said what the problem was.  It could have been just serious shin splints, a soft tissue injury, a bruise from the pounding (I developed a blood vessel in my calf that had never been there before - which is why I panicked even more about the blood clot), but I was confident I wasn't dealing with a stress fracture anymore.  PRAISE. GOD.  I couldn't' have given up running for weeks on end.  I wasn't allowed to run until the following week but I could walk if it didn't cause pain.  YIPPEE!! 

Tuesday I sat out our first softball game which was a bummer but I did get to take pictures!  Wednesday I walked and "ellipitcaled" and it felt soo good to be semi-back to normal.  I didn't have pain in my legs which was awesome.  Thursday I felt great and on Friday I walked at a faster pace.  I will say that I did run but not much.  My next goal is to work on my speed so I did two 2 minute intervals at 5.5 mph.  It wasn't hurting which was great, but I did have a little bit of pain that night but nothing major. 

This week I'll work on doing some running but I know it's important to be fully recovered or I'll be out even longer.  As hard as it is to just stop after working so hard to get here, I know I have to. I'll be able to go even further and even longer if I remain patient and let my body recover.  And lesson learned, I have to fully recover after a road race - it was definitely harder on my body and than any day in the gym!

Second Chance Missions 5K

I know this blog is way overdue!  Blame it on work, school, children, family, life - whatever.  I'm so busy I can't breathe!  Here's to summer and (hopefully) relaxation!!

It all started back in January.  We had just moved and I was now taking both girls to school.  It was and still is a TON of running around.  I also had an extremely demanding class in school the first half of the semester.  Trying to save gas, miles and especially time I figured I would drop Hannah off at school and go right to the library to study 3 days a week and do all of my school work while she was in school.  It turns out that the library didn't open until 10 so I had an hour to kill if I wanted to make that plan work.  So I decided to finally use that gym membership that I quit using when I went to the beach back in August in between drop off and library time.  I would drop Hannah off at school, get in a small workout, shower and hit the books until noon.  I started off doing the elliptical three times a week - no weights, no treadmill.  Just a quick workout to fill in the time to get to the library.

It all changed when I texted my sister about something workout related and she asked if I wanted to run in a 5K to support her church's mission trip this summer.  Sure. Why not.  I've wanted to run one before and this gave me a goal and some accountability to get it done since we would run it together. I kept with the elliptical for 2 more weeks before beginning with the Couch to 5K program, a 9 week program for new runners that take them from literally never running before to running 30 minutes non-stop (the average time for a 5K).  It was hard, both physically and mentally but I finished.  I never missed a run or repeated days/weeks.  I was my own rock star.  I finished and had two weeks to continue training for the race.  I was slow, running way under the average pace but I was running up to 45 minutes at at time.  (If you're interested, I recapped every week about the challenges and triumphs).  Oh, and about a month or so before the race day my sister tells me she's not running the race - say what??  She was expecting again and wasn't going to take any chances.  She tells me her husband is going to run and I can run with him.  Not the same, but at least I'm not alone!

So race day was here, 11 weeks of training came down to this day.  I tried not to get nervous reminding myself that this wasn't something I wasn't ready for, I had done it twice already so I just needed to treat it as my regular workout - only I was doing it with a bunch of other people and on a Saturday.  I was nervous and excited but more than anything I was just ready to get it started.  Once I started I knew I would be OK.  I had been pre-warned not to get tied up in all of the excitement and hype of everyone starting fast or I would gas out fast.  I found a spot in the middle of the pack of about 75 runners.  We prayed.  We started.  I can't even remember if there was a gun or timer or what that told us to go, but off we were! I tried to hold back on my speed heeding the warning given to me.  Everyone took off; I told my brother-in-law to go ahead, not to let me hold him back.  So I'm running alone. Depsite trying not to run too fast, I realized about a 1/4 mile in that I still had started too fast, I was out of breath already.  I had to slow down just to catch my breath. Then I realized I forgot to turn on the timer on my iPod so if I got discouraged and tired I could check the timer to see how much time was left and how far I had gone. I managed to get it started, even if it was off a bit. I'm thinking to myself running on the road is a lot harder than the treadmill but I enjoy running outside way more than the treadmill.  It's easier to see how far I've come and how much I have left.  I tried starting my running list - I didn't turn it on when we started in case the BIL and I ran together.  That was a challenging task - trying to turn on your iPod that is in an armband on your arm and you're running, I ended up shutting off the timer on accident trying to get the music started.

The course is pretty easy and if anyone is familiar with the village in Cartersville that is basically where we ran.  We started at the Ruritan Club, rounded the corner to head towards the "town", veered left into the village, made a sharp turn to go towards the bridge which happened to be down a steep hill.  I had to really watch my footing to make sure I didn't trip and to help me slow down.  We crossed the bridge and turned around and came back.  I almost missed the next turn but saw the guys motioning for me and the chalk on the ground with the arrow (phew!) but man, this part of the course was pure torture!!  I wanted to get a picture of it when I left but didn't get the chance - I will though.  We turned up a gravel road to head towards the golf course and this hill wasn't your average hill.  It was steep and it was long.  I tried to "run" it as long as I could but didn't make it far.  My fitbit told me later it was the equivalent of 14 stories high.  And it was steep - did I mention that? The grade was unbelievable.  It felt like a 45 degree angle. So I survived that, turned, came back down behind Spanky's and back onto 45 to go back to the Ruritan club.  I was doing pretty good, even when it got mentally hard, I was able to overcome it with the adrenaline of just being there.  When I knew I was close to finishing, I walked one more quick spot for about 30-45 seconds to get over a small bump in the road and then decided I would gun it at the end but.... the end was a bit farther than I was planning on and I literally thought I might throw up.  I slowed a bit until I got closer and hit it hard again, up the final hill to the finish line.  43:05 was the final time.  I finished 2 minutes faster than I had in the past.  (Brian - the BIL - finished in 33 minutes I think).

It was sooo much fun!! Once I recovered it was fun cheering the rest of the people in (I wasn't last!!) and having others encourage you and you do the same.  There was definitely that high of finishing and knowing that I DID IT.  11 weeks of training and wanting to quit paid off.  Weeks of shin splints, hip pain, back pain, ice packs, and motrin paid off.  I came in 3rd place in my age group, Brian came in second place.  To be honest, there were only 3 women in my age group, but I'm not gonna let that stop me from sharing with everyone that I won a medal.  I wouldn't have gotten the medal had I not finished the race!  The overall winner was a male in the the 50's age category who came in at 22 minutes and some change.  WOW!!

I cant' wait to run the next one.  I had plans to run one May 20th but I may have to bow out of that one due to an injury (blog to come).  And I had to nix the run I was asked to do yesterday for the same reason.  BUMMER.  But I do have plans to run more and keep those as motivators.  I just wish I had a group of friends (or just one) to really train with and to push me and motivate me.  To have someone there at the race is definitely helpful as a motivator.  I don't think I could do a race without anyone else there. But I'm super proud of myself and can't believe I did it.  I would encourage anyone who wants to run a 5K to do the C25K program and to sign up for a race as soon as they can!  It was an awesome and amazing experience!!

**My camera died as soon as we got to the race so my sister took some pictures with her camera.  I got prints at Wal-Mart but forgot to get a disc so these are pictures of pictures, sorry** 

Hannah, me, Brian and Thomas at the Start/Finish line AFTER the race!

A really bad picture of me, but I did finish.  My sister missed the pic of me running through the finish line with my arms held high, so this is me walking AFTER I ran through :)

Brian and I with our medals!
Third place, females 20-29

Monday, April 23, 2012

Where's The Line?

I came across a funny thing on Twitter.  It was quite funny actually, funnier than the Not Will Ferrell tweeter.  But then it started making me think. Maybe I'm thinking too much into it, I'll let you leave your comments below.

You see, this tweeter is called FirstWorldPains.  All of the tweets coming from here mention problems only those living in first world countries would have.  Things like: "I don't have enough room in my closet for all of my clothes", "My drink is getting cold but I don't want to get up for more ice" or "My iPod doesn't have anymore memory left".  I've even tweeted with the hashtag of #firstworldpain behind it because reading all of them everyday got me thinking - is this worth complaining about?

~ Today it's a whopping 49 degrees out.  But my heat has been off since the beginning of March and I don't want to turn it on to get the lowest possible heating bill ever. 

~I had to go grocery shopping in the rain today. 

~My cell phone doesn't hold a long enough charge anymore.

~I'm so done with college classes and just want to be done.

Really, as someone living in the United States of America, should I be complaining? There are children living in literal city dumps with tin roofs on their shacks.  People stand on the corner asking for money to just get a nice warm meal or cup of coffee.  I have a smart phone with an unlimited data plan - I use facebook and twitter more than I make phone calls.  There are people that would love to go to college but can't and I'm only a year away from graduating with a degree in elementary education with a minor in biblical studies.  What is there to complain about?  Really. 

So I used to follow First WorldPains lightheartedly and laugh along at the snobbishness of my own country. But I have to say I've been convicted pretty hard.  What really do I have to complain about? I live in a beautiful home that is much bigger than we really need.  I drive one of the safest vehicles on the road.  My husband makes enough money that I can stay at home to finish my degree.  My children are healthy, happy, and alive.  I have been saved and live amongst God's creation. 

But where do I draw the line? When is it OK to recognize that I am among one of the luckiest people in the world.  God blessed me with life in the US, not a third world country stricken with poverty or raging in a war.  When can I take advantage of this blessing and complain when I realize I forgot something all the way upstairs and I don't feel like going to get it but I really need it?  When can I complain without guilt that we can't afford the hopper for Direct TV even though we already have a DVR that plays on all TV's?  Where is the line? We tithe to our church every week.  We support a child in the Compassion International program.  I will be going on a missions trip to Guatemala in the next few years.  The 5K I ran this past weekend was to support my sister's church mission trip to Nicaragua this summer.  We donate to various organizations over the year with our time and money.  Is this enough to complain that my hands are really cold right now but I'm sitting on a huge sectional couch in my home where my roof isn't leaking?

So should I go without just because others go without? It doesn't seem logical that I should live in the city dump or not wash my clothes or not bathe every day just because others can't.  So where's the line? How do I balance this life I have here in America without forgetting those who aren't so lucky?