Running Back to the Basics

Did you know that I just started running in 2011?  Three years.  Three years ago I had never run a race.  Well, at least not in my adult life.  I ran track in junior high.  I attempted to run track in junior high.  I was horrible at all of it.  Since then, I have run several 5Ks and three half marathons.  Some successfully and some not so much, but I committed to running them, trained for them, showed up on race day, and completed the races.  Here are some things I noted when I first started running:

1.  People do their laundry at night, so I get to smell lavender and spring as I jog. (This is still one of my favorite things about running.)

2.  You only notice the wind when you’re running against it.  (When I wrote that on my other blog three years ago, I was thinking about how much harder it is to run against the wind.  Now, I notice the difference in the wind because it is unbearably hot when I’m running with the wind, but there’s a nice breeze when I have to run against it.  Weird, how my thinking has changed.)

3.  The street lights remind me of being a kid.  The whole, be home when the street lights come on thing.  Having fun with my friends, no worries, and not realizing how lucky I was to not have responsibilities. (I feel this when I run.  I don’t have 500 things pulling at me.  No immediate needs to meet.  Just me, the road, and God.)

I love how God gave me little gifts to keep me running when I first started.  He knew I would never stay with it if it was constantly hard.  Don’t get me wrong.  It was hard…It still is, but it’s the little things like getting to watch the sun go down or the amazing friendship with Janae that running started or running under the clearest sky with the brightest stars you could imagine.

Lately I have been struggling mentally with the defeat I felt after my last half.  I don’t want to feel that way after the one we are running in October.  My plan was to train HARD.  Run faster, higher mileage per week, more runs per week.  All okay things, but I have been doing them for the wrong reasons.  These races shouldn’t be about being faster.  Faster than my last race I mean because I’ll never be faster than most people.  But being faster than my previous, younger self isn’t a good goal either.  Nothing like setting myself up for failure.  It made me think of this post I made right after my first 5K.

(referring to my time)  “I don’t really know if that is good or bad, but I don’t really care. I had so much fun and I don’t want to obsess over my time. My friend, Erin, asked me what I want to do now. Am I going to work on running faster or farther? Neither. I plan on continuing to love running 3 miles a day however fast God leads me to run that day. Because running to me is about spending time with God, not about being the best or the fastest.”

Obviously I have started running farther, but I enjoy that.  I feel like God is telling me to stop worrying so much about my time.  Just enjoy the race.  To me, that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t train hard, but that being faster shouldn’t be what it’s all about to me.

Today I am going back to the basics and committing to simply enjoy running again.  I want to run across that finish line with Janae by my side and just feel accomplished for having done something amazing because, lets face it, 13.1 miles is a long ways!

Half Marathon Training

August Craft Night{Pallet Picture Frames}

pallet frames

Do you ever have one of those days where almost nothing can go right?  Well, this craft night was like that.  First, on the way up we realized that there had been a miscommunication and neither one of us brought nails.  So what do you do when you forget something?  That’s right, head to Wal-Mart.  I left to get nails while Janae ate with the ladies and got them started picking out their wood.  Now, Wal-Mart apparently does not have a very big selection of nails.  In fact, it took me a while to even find them and I know my way around Wal-Mart people.  Then I realized that I didn’t know how to get back to Janae’s mom’s house which is where the craft night was.  And since my maps app had taken me in circles on the way there, I couldn’t just go back the way I came.  I ended up Googling her mom’s name to find her address.  I actually got pretty close.  I’m horrible at directions, so for me to even be remotely close was amazing.

When I got back and everyone had their wood picked out, we headed outside in the heat to hammer them together.  It didn’t take us long to realize something wasn’t right.  The nails just kept bending.  Somehow Tristan had it figured out so she helped with the other ladies and Keith, Janae’s dad (he’s a carpenter) came and saved the day with his much sturdier (definitely not from Wal-Mart) nails.  Check out these tough chicks braving the 100 degree temps to put their projects together.


And when I got my camera out to take pictures of those tough chicks, I realized my SD card was in my computer.  Not in my camera where it belongs!  So, sorry for the super grainy pictures from my iphone. :(

The ladies got to work staining.  We covered the tables with plastic tablecloth, but it was messy!  You should have seen everyone walking around with their hands in the air trying not to get stain on everything.  I have no idea how many times I washed my hands.  Look at this mess!


It always amazes me how we have one craft in mind and then everyone makes it their own.  Marian made hers orange and black.  She has a tailgating photo that will go perfectly with it.  Susan’s is yellow to go in the room she has for her grandkids.  Both these ladies got to take a class from the famous (in our area anyways) Abbe Doll, so they got creative with their painting techniques and they both turned out fabulous!  Even the ones that just stained made it their own.


I love mine and it was totally worth the mess and frustration and heat and extra trip to Wal-Mart.  Hopefully it will go more smoothly next month.  Or we can just “keep wishing.”  Right, Denise? :)

We are so lucky to have awesome sponsors every month too.  There are some really good ones this time!


Bip and Bop


Hurd & Honey

Surfing Silver


Fall Fashion Preview

The Friday night before we left for vacation (more on that next week) my mom and I were asked to be models in a Fall Fashion Preview night in El Dorado. Robin’s, a local boutique, is a favorite store of ours so we were excited. We went into the store a few days before to try on the outfit they had picked for us. My mom changed hers up from what they had picked, and she looked so cute! She wore some boyfriend jeans, a cute gray lacy shirt, a black open weave poncho sweater, Sperry bootie wedges, and black leather earrings from Bright Sunshiny Days (for sale in our etsy shop or at Robin’s). It was a perfect outfit for her. The outfit they picked for me was one I wouldn’t have picked for myself, but was fun to wear because it was outside of my comfort zone. The mavi skinny jeans were the softest, most comfortable jeans I had ever worn. They just had to come home with me. Then I wore a cute ombre cami, a long kimono, gold wedges and random bits of accessories. I loved the ombre cami but the kimono was just too much for me. My mom wore her own glasses, but I wore some fake ones from Specs Eyewear. They were a part of the show too so they wanted us to model some of their styles.

fallfashionpreviewThey pampered us with crackers, cheese, and wine while we waited for the show to start. We walked down the “runway” twice and posed for many pictures (above) taken by The Studio Photography in El Dorado. She had a fun photobooth with props too. I can’t wait to see those pictures! Splurge magazine from Wichita was also there taking pictures for advertisements for the upcoming issue. It was an evening filled with fun, laughter, fashion, and good memories with my mom. It also didn’t hurt that Robin’s had an awesome sale afterwards too. It got me excited for cooler weather and fall fashions.

I do not pretend to be a fashion guru, but I at least try to keep up with trends somewhat. I know a few things for sure. Plaid is huge for this fall and booties are going to be around for awhile. I don’t consider myself overly materialistic but I also do think clothes are fun. There is nothing wrong with putting a little effort into your looks. This is an outfit I will wear over and over this fall. It’s cute, comfy, and on trend. Just my style.

plaidfrontOutfit Details:

Shirt-Vintage Havana c/o Robin’s
Shoes-Sperry Top Sider
Watch-One Little Momma (wish she still made them)
Bracelets-The Shine Project
Earrings-Bright Sunshiny Days


This shirt is incredibly soft and comfy. I love the colors and the button details down the back.

sperrybootiesI am so excited about these wedge booties. I am an avid lover of Sperrys and these are no different. They are so comfortable!

(These pictures made it obvious just how badly my hair needs cut and colored-don’t be surprised if you see that happening soon now)


Church Camp{with free printable}

I have had the privilege of being a counselor at the church camp that the girls go to the last two years.  It is called J.A.M. Camp (Jesus and Me Camp).  Both those years I also got to spend that time with my niece Jillian.

me and alexa


Every year I wonder how I am going to survive an entire week with a bunch of 2nd-4th graders, but every year I am completely blessed by those kids.  I always have a great time with the junior counselors and other adult counselors that are there too.  Sure I am exhausted when I get home and there are mounds and mounds of laundry from a week of being gone, but it is so worth it to spend serious quality time with my girls and to watch those kids grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ.  The counselors usually put a little something on the kids’ beds to greet them when they come.  Here is what I put together.  There is a link to the free printable at the bottom of this post.  It says “Can’t wait to see your light shine this week at camp” and I attached it to a glow stick.

giftsFrom the second the kids get there until they load the bus on the last day, our schedules are jam packed and we are BUSY!  The kids get to experience things that they probably have never had the chance to do like archery.



They got to try a compound bow and a recurve bow.  Some of the girls got pretty close.  The staff this year was great too.  The girl in the picture above had something in common with Alexa.  They both have a scar on their face.  She was so sweet to take time to talk with her about it.  She told Alexa that she loves her scar and she bet Alexa would love hers some day too.  It meant a lot to Alexa and probably even more to me.

They make tons of crafts like these God’s eyes.  Alexa made me one and attached a string so I could wear it as a necklace.

Gods eyes

gods eyes2


They also get to do ropes course activities that teach them how to trust in God and communicate better as a group.  Here is one called Marshmellow Rock.  The girls had to figure out how to get everyone on the rock at the same time.  It was pretty easy until the counselors had to hop on, but we made it work.

marshmellow rock

I brought a photobooth with a background and props that I had gotten at Wal-Mart.  We set it up in the living area of the girls cabin.  The kids had lots of fun posing for pictures… and so did the counselors.  Melissa and I had lots of fun during the week.  It was nice to spend time goofing off with her.

photo booth


Amid all the silliness and fun activities we also spent time worshiping God through songs, Bible lessons, and quiet time.  Here is Vespers, a place that we all come together and soak in God’s beautiful masterpiece.


camp free printable


Here is the link to the free printable above.  Enjoy!!