Running buddies…

July 11, 2018

I have a hard time making myself get up at 4:20am to run before my husband leaves for work, when I do not need to be up that early. So I run in the morning after my kids get up and coax them along on their bikes. They don’t always want to go but I’m thankful that they do (with minimal whining). 😛 (Funny they whine a lot less when my friend Whitney comes with us! 😉)

Today we hit up this trail, even though I’m not a fan of trail running, I needed the shade! Gotta do what you can to get a run in. It was definitely on the slower side today and had to cut it half a mile short because my little dude biffed it with his bike at the end of the trail, but we all survived!

Many have asked how long I plan to run into this pregnancy and since this is the first pregnancy I’ve ran this far into, I’m not really sure. Just playing it by ear depending on how I feel. So far things are going fine so my goal is to run at least until the end of August (7 months one week approximately). Time will tell!

To everything there is a season…

July 8, 2018

Normally going into a blog post I have an idea what I want to say…not 100% the case today.

As I was running on 4th of July this past week, it was a good run, best pace I’ve had in a while (remember I need walk breaks, I’m 5 1/2 months Prego) less aches and pains; but I ran through the park where we had Simon’s first birthday party and as his 6th birthday is approaching this week, it made me think of the different seasons of life.

I hate change. I hate my kids out growing clothes and new milestones and grade levels, and even birthdays. I always say I wish I could just freeze time. It’s hard to think that they’ll (my kids) never be this little again. With pregnancy hormones, just thinking about stuff like this lately has me in tears. Oy.

But as I ran on the 4th, I was reminded of what a former co-worker and special friend (who still holds a special place in my heart) used to always tell me, ‘there’s a season for everything and there are always things to enjoy in each season.’ She is right…but it doesn’t make change any easier for me.

But it’s inevitable…not just with our kids growing up but life in general, as I was reminded today. People come and go in your life, sometimes employment changes, and pastors change… unfortunately. We were so saddened to hear the news in church today that our pastor and family, who we so very much love and appreciate, have been called to another church. ….I understand, I get it, it’s God’s calling and what they should do, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

My husband and I are very grateful for all the changes, improvements, and growth they’ve guided our church through. I’m sure the majority would agree and I hope they know the impact they’ve made on each and every one of us. My husband and I renewed our vows last summer after going through a lot of growing together and strengthening our relationships with God and each other; Pastor Joe (and Michelle) were a huge part of this.

Still processing it…but understand, and know that God has plans for us and our church. Praying the next pastor will be just as honest, relatable, and diligent in spending time with God, bringing his word to us and helping/challenging us to grow the way Pastor Joe did.

But I’m still allowed to feel it stinks at the moment!

Back in the kitchen…

June 25, 2018

May was a busy month and I honestly don’t think I’ve baked more than chocolate chip cookies in what seems like forever! Well, I got my fill this weekend! We celebrated my grandma’s birthday on Friday afternoon and a late Father’s day cookout Friday night, for which I made desserts for both.

I made a light summery, new strawberry dessert for my grandma. It was delicious but I can’t take credit for the recipe. You can find it here: No-bake Strawberry Lasagna, the only thing I did different, I omitted the white chocolate shavings on top (not a huge fan of white chocolate and it definitely didn’t need it).

My father-in-law loves chocolate so for our father’s day cookout I made a triple chocolate cake with homemade fudge sauce. Yum! The fudge sauce would be yummy on ice cream or peanut butter pie too! The cake recipe is super easy, since it’s just a doctor’s up cake mix; but your guests don’t have to know that. 😉 The fudge sauce is very rich, you may also choose to just serve cake topped with cool whip.

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake
Chocolate cake mix
1 box (regular .3oz size) instant chocolate pudding
2 cups sour cream
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
2 cups semisweet chips

Mix all ingredients and bake in a greased Bundt pan at 350* for 50 min to 1 hour. Cool 15 minutes before removing from pan. Serve with fudge sauce if desired.

Fudge Sauce:
On stove top combine 1/2 cup light corn syrup and 6 oz semisweet chips. Bring to boil.
Remove from heat and whisk in 3/4 cup heavy cream.
Cool and refrigerate leftovers.

*For the cake I used sugar free pudding and light sour cream and was equally delicious!

Beauty all around us…

June 22, 2018

I have lots of beautiful vacation pictures from our trip to Siesta Key beach in Florida last week. The morning runs there are much warmer and muggier than at home but the views are beautiful! What’s not to love about the beach, right!?

Sunrise on the Bayside (two different mornings):

And the public beach that I would run to (so that I had a potty break 😂 lol):

But like I said in the title, there is really beauty all around us, not just on vacation, but I try to appreciate the everyday beauty of nature and animals I see on my runs at home as well. Today I was blessed with a beautiful second day of summer sunrise on my run at home. 😊

I also enjoyed the fact that it was 58* and not 74 and muggy already at 5am. But I’m certainly not complaining about Beach weather either!!! We were blessed with beautiful weather on our vacation and thoroughly enjoyed our time together as a family. 😎😍

I will definitely miss our gulf sunsets! One for your viewing pleasure; have a great day wherever you are!

Finished!

June 2, 2018

Well most of you know I had a goal to do a half marathon…while 19 1/2 weeks pregnant. Its a race (with a huge hill) that I have done at least two other times, but under the current circumstances I wasn’t sure how I’d be feeling or if I could do it, so I waited til the last minute to sign up. Thankful that God gave me the strength I needed to finish!

I had mentioned before that my biggest challenge with running lately was the stress of feeling like I constantly had to go to the bathroom! I was stressed how I was going to wait the five miles between race day port-a-potties, when sometimes I feel like I have to pee every other mile! lol- don’t laugh, the struggle is real people!

Anyway, the strange things that I know my praying friends have prayed for me over the years…this one is probably up there on the list. But I could certainly tell they were praying because I did fine! Made it to the port-a-potties lol and wasn’t overly stressed about it. I could also tell prayers were answered when the sun started to shine despite the forecast which had called for cloudy skies all day. Yes, I always pray for a ‘cool & cloudy race day.’ I don’t do well in the heat. Once it hits 70, I feel like I’m done! The day was cloudy but started out at 67* and somewhat muggy. Then there was a two mile stretch where the sun came out and I started to feel drained. I had friends cheering me on along the way and I mentioned/they knew the sun was going to drain me and I still had 4 miles to go. I knew my faithful prayer warrior friend Rachel was praying because within another mile the clouds rolled back in and it was tolerable! I kind of smiled to myself and thanked God and said, ‘yup, Rachel prayed for clouds for me.’ ❤ That’s what friends are for, right?

I was so blessed to have my own little cheering section hopping all the way along the course for me! I felt so loved and blessed! Until you experience it, you don’t know how much fun a race can be, and having family and friends there to cheer you on along the way gives you the excitement and boost you need! So much fun and I so appreciate alllll the support!

(Photo credit: Rachel Darrah)

I didn’t really have any finish time goals in mind because it didn’t really matter to me. I just wanted to finish (and not have to pee anywhere other than a port-a-pottie, lol). My normal finish time for this half is two hours; so with my current pace, factoring in potty breaks, and the fact that my daughter had a soccer game at 11, my goal was 2.5 hrs (10:30 am). I was happy with my time of 2 hrs 21 minutes.

(Photo credit: Rachel Darrah)

The Lord is always my strength when I run (and when I don’t ha); I spend a lot of time in prayer and have faith He gets me through. Again, so very thankful for all the love and support from my family and friends! Even if they think I’m a little crazy! (All us runners are, aren’t we? 😜)

(Other cheerleaders that hopped along the way too but missing from the picture are my mom, step mom, and Hannah Darrah and family! Appreciate them all!) And appreciate all the love, support, and prayers from friends and family who weren’t here in person as well! ❤

Ps. Everyone got a kick out of my shirt I had made by someone local (*thanks Caroline)! 😀

A new day…

May 23, 2018

I went to bed last night feeling kind of down and in a miserable mood. I didn’t feel like venting, or even talking at all. Sometimes all you can focus on is the negative. Thankfully I’ve always been one to get up the next day and start fresh.

Today I feel so much better, mentally and physically. I appreciate the early sunrise. I appreciated a run with less aches and pains than I’ve had in a couple weeks. I appreciated my prayerful run and my time with God. I appreciate the extra rest day I allowed myself yesterday (mostly due to rain), but it was definitely needed and made a difference. I’m thankful for good Christian music this morning. And I’m thankful I found one more pair of pants that still buttons! Woohoo, at 18 weeks now, I’ll celebrate that!

It’s the little things I guess. Don’t let them go unnoticed or unappreciated. Start each day fresh and give the new day a new chance. Going to try to focus on the positive today!

Hope you have a wonderful, blessed day ahead too! 😃

Rest day…

May 10, 2018

Typically Sundays and Thursdays are my rest days…sometimes my routine/schedule gets shifted around but either way, I always make time for a rest day. Your body needs to rest; God designed us that way. As much as I love to run, I also look forward to my rest days.

I usually spend time with God daily, but on my rest days I get to spend extra time, doing extra devotions and I look forward to this too. This is always a way to help me feel refreshed and renewed, in addition to the physical rest.

As I sat on the couch this morning, reading some of the books I read (several are little devotions you read weekly, and I’m done with the 40 days of the Holy Spirit book), it is a beautiful morning and you can hear the birds chirping outside. My husband says to me, ‘I bet you’d rather be out there running, huh?’ No, actually I wouldn’t. Today is devoted to rest and getting more into God’s word, and I like it that way. I need this time! More so even than I need the running! Don’t get me wrong…I love my time running and a lot of that time is my ‘God time’ too; talking with him, offering up prayers, and listening for what he might have to say to me. But rest days are important too! Funny, because the title of my Run For God devotion today was ‘Rest.’

God knows what we need…listen to Him and allow yourself a rest day!

Conquer the hill…

May 5, 2018

I know I haven’t blogged in forever, but life is so busy…spring sports have started and I’m sure so many parents can relate to the busyness of it all and the juggling game we play…and mine are only 5 & 8. It’s just beginning! But it is fun to watch them learn, play, and enjoy their sports and use up the energy they’ve stored from a long winter.

One is participating in soccer, the other t-ball. Both have practice times of 5:30-630. When do these people eat dinner? Either super early or super late…our gig lately, three days a week, is to rush home, make a quick meal, ‘coach’ them that they need to ‘eat faster’ because we need to leave for practice! I know it could be worse, with multiple sports practices or engagements in one evening…well one evening this late week we had a doctor’s appointment, practice, and then church. 😬 I just hate the rush rush rush; by the end of the week I’m exhausted (and my house is a total mess)! But I’m thankful as well!

I’m still sticking to my normal running routine, up before the crack of dawn…I’m sure contributing to the exhaustion, but running helps me to feel my best. I mentioned before, that I have a goal to do a half marathon in about 4 weeks, at which point I’ll be about 20 weeks along. So far it’s going pretty well and I haven’t really strayed at all from my usual runs.

Of all the things that I thought might stop me from running during pregnancy, injury, potential bleeding, exhaustion, not feeling well– I didn’t think bladder issues would be one of them. Not incontinence thankfully! But it’s super annoying to constantly feel like you have to pee while running. I have had to plan out my runs based on where I can go to the bathroom! The early morning Sheetz crew and hospital admissions receptionist should know me well by now- lol. So far I’m making it work but I’m going to have to be mindful of where the port-a-potties are on race day I guess!

I’m also thankful for a patient running partner who doesn’t seem to mind my frequent potty breaks! 😜 I did mention to her the other day though, that I’ve read at this point the baby is the size of an orange and that orange is sitting on my bladder…so it’s no wonder I have to pee all the time while I’m running. I told her it would only be fair that she start carrying some fruit along with her for our runs! Even the playing field a little. 😁

I was thankful for her today, as we ‘conquered the hill’ together this morning…a hill that she said she’d never run again! The struggle up the 3 miles hill with a 1,000 foot elevation gain (something like that) is definitely less painful and almost enjoyable, when you have someone to struggle through it with you! So thanks, Whitney! 😉 (Ps the fact that you said you’d never do this hill again but did gives me hope that you will also do another marathon some day!?)

Anyway, it was a good morning for a run. I was happy with my time for 1. Being prego, 2. Running 11 miles, and 3. Doing ‘the hill’ for the first time this year! But I must admit I’m feeling quite whooped as the day goes on. We’ll see what the next couple weeks bring…

Consistency…

April 8, 2018

One thing that’s not consistent (besides my ability to do blog posts 😜) is the weather! Look at the pictures below, taken 4 days apart…what month is it!?

Wednesday it was a beautiful 55*, raining but so warm. It felt so good to not have to wear the winter hat/ear warmer or gloves! And I’m so thankful for the new running hat I bought for rainy days. It was rainy that morning but just shielding the rain from my face gave me the illusion I was dry! Totally worth the $9.99! 😜 Anyway, we quickly went from normal spring weather for this time of year to 16* this morning…back to bundling up. Brrr. I’m over it. I actually skipped my run yesterday, well postponed till today, because when I woke up st 5:15am as planned, we had 2+ inches of fresh snow on the ground. I grumbled and went on strike, refusing to wear yaktrax in April…I went back to bed! Then unfortunately today I only had time to fit 6 in before church. Better than nothing I guess.

Anyway how ’bout that weather! Hope spring actually shows up to say, soon!

Something that’s a little more consistent than the weather, are my times lately. Consistently getting slower! The time I’m actually moving is faster than my final averager pace, but I’ve been allowing myself some walk breaks as needed.

Why you ask? For those of you who don’t follow me or didn’t read my last blog with a little suble announcement about a cinnamon BUN in the oven…hello…I’m not slow, I’m pregnant! (And I plan to get a shirt that says so 😋.) So yes, I’ve slowed down a bit and been a bit more hungry! Lol But I plan to keep running as long as I can and yes the doctor says that’s absolutely fine! My body was used to it to begin with and I know my limits. I am trying to get extra hydration in as well. I have a goal, that even my doctor did not feel was unrealistic and perfectly acceptable, to do a half marathon the first weekend in June; I’ll be about 20-21 weeks at that point. (My mother is probably having a bird at this point… haha!) If I am not feeling up to it, I won’t do it, and that’s absolutely fine with me. For now I feel good and I’m going to continue my normal running routine as long as I can! I wouldn’t mind if the weather would warm up a little though!!!

Thanks for following along my newest journey!

Best. Cinnamon. Buns. Ever.

March 27, 2018

I wish I could take credit for this recipe because it created the yummiest cinnamon buns ever! And the blog was great; step by step photo instructions if you need them and I honestly did not alter a thing from their recipe. I honestly think these are one of the best things I’ve ever made; I was thrilled with how they turned out. I actually made a double batch; kind of brave for being a new recipe I guess… Double batch because I had several people I wanted to share them with, have some for us, and take a pan of them to work.

I made the double batch this Sunday; rolled them out in two separate batches, baking one of them at that time and then saving the other in the refrigerator until time to bake (the following night for work on Tuesday). The recipe said this was an option but I wasn’t sure if the second batch would rise as well (the second time) or turn out as good as the first pan did. Well, rest assured, if you want to make these the day before and then bake them the next morning, it works perfectly. I would allow them more time to warm up. I had mine next to the vent of the oven while dinner was cooking, probably an hour before they actually went in the oven. The dough was still cold and I was skeptical how they’d turn out, but the second batch was just as yummy as the first!

So the batch I took to work had a purpose…(and I’m about to find out how many people actually read my blog because sometimes it’s discouraging when you think some of your closest friends and family don’t read your stuff 😜 but no worries.) Anyway I took a pan of fresh baked cinnamon BUNs to work to share, with a note on the lid that had a picture of an OVEN.

Maybe I should have been less subtle? I had to spoon feed them the message and perhaps even some of you currently reading are trying to figure out ‘What message?’ They all thought the picture of the oven was to remind them to warm their cinnamon bun up before eating it… 🤔 Good point. Too subtle. Anyway, did u get it? If not, you’re on your own! But hey, thanks for following me! ☺

Don’t forget the icing!!