Weather won one today…

March 2, 2018

Very rarely does the weather stop me from running. It was calling for an accumulation of snow today, but not starting til 5am. I figured I had time to get started and if I had to run in a snow storm, it wouldn’t be the first. I got up at 4am and stood and looked out the window for a solid five minutes trying to decide if I should run outside or submit to the ‘dreadmill.’ Despite the wind chimes clanging and the fact that the little snow that had started to fall already was being whipped around out there, I decided it was still a better option than the dreaded treadmill.

Fast forward 20 minutes, after I had gotten ready and was again looking out the same window, now there’s a good two inches on the ground that wasn’t there earlier!? And the snow coming down was thicker and harder to see through as it was even more blustery. Still… better than the treadmill; still going to brave it, at least it’s 32* out! 😁

Well yaktrax required obviously, but for the first time ever, they hardly helped! I should have known when two blocks into my run I had to stop and scuff my feet to get down to the pavement, to then scuff some more to get the collection of heavy wet snow off the bottom of my shoe. I continued to play this game for about 3/4 of a mile before I turned and headed back home. I could handle the wind and the snow falling or shooting directly into my eyes; I was literally running with my eyes closed at one point. But, I can’t run with what feels like snow balls the size of my fist collecting under my feet with every step. Nope, the weather won one today… I went back home to continue my run on my treadmill with my lovely view:

(I try not to look at the time…)

Although I complain about her, I am thankful I have her on the seldom days like today. 😜

Did I mention it was like 50s and beautiful out the rest of the week prior? Hopefully this counts as March coming in like a lion….out like a lamb? Ready for spring!

At least running on the treadmill means listening to a good playlist. 🎶 What do you listen to?

God knows just what we need…

February 22, 2018

Go figure, right…God thankfully knows exactly what we need and we should trust in Him and trust that His plans are greater than ours.

This past weekend we had a fun weekend trip planned with our friends, one that we had looked forward to for months! In the stressful weeks leading up to it we (my friend and I) both vented how we couldn’t wait to have a fun and relaxing weekend with our families all together. The kids were all packing and talking about the adventures we were going to have.

I had been praying for over a month that we would all be healthy and nothing would stand in our way of going as planned (and because it was already paid for as well!). I still couldn’t help this feeling in the two weeks leading up to our weekend that someone was going to be sick or something, getting in the way of this perfect weekend from happening. Well I guess, unfortunately, my gut feeling was accurate; my daughter woke up Thursday morning with a fever. Sure enough, it was the dreaded influenza.

Side note: I was obviously very concerned about her first and foremost and was sooooo thankful for all the praying and concerned family and friends we have. Her case of the flu was much shorter than it could have been! So very thankful for that and for the power of prayer!!

Unfortunately, there was still quite a sting of disappointment in our house as we realized our weekend away was not going to happen. I have to admit I didn’t deal very well with this disappointment- I felt so badly I needed this break and looked forward to just relaxing and laughing with our friends for the weekend! I was not only looking forward to time with our friends but a fun time together as a family and time with my hubby; he’s been so busy with work and extra obligations lately. We were also supposed to take a weekend away together as our Christmas gift to each other, but after other expenses arose we decided this trip with friends was our only trip for now. So now, no trip. In turn I was a total grump for the weekend; not a very good example, I know. It’s no fun unpacking from a trip, let alone a trip you didn’t get to go on.

However, I know it could be so much worse, it could always be worse. Thankfully my daughter wasn’t worse and so far thankfully, no one else has caught it.

It took a couple days to snap out of this pity party, grump funk I was in. I started by turning to God and admitting I was being a jerk and continued to praise Him for the restored health of our daughter! Not something to take for granted, I know! But as I knew and was reminded of by my friend, it’s ok to tell God how you feel or what’s on your heart. He cares.

Yesterday I felt really blessed and felt like God was giving me a hug through the people around me. It was just little things, but they were all so appreciated.

Started my day with my running partner, which I may have taken for granted prior to this winter, because our runs together aren’t as often due to weather, and it makes me thankful for the days we do get to run together!

Next, my hubby surprised me with a card waiting for me in the car to start my day; it was super sweet and totally unexpected, and a great, much appreciated smile to start to my day. 😊

Then, this was definitely a God thing, my secret pal at work surprised me with a random gift…and not just any gift, but a devotional book and some of my favorite chocolate candy, with a sweet little note that read ‘what goes better with chocolate than God.’ How sweet and the timing was perfect. I don’t believe in coincidences. 😉

Then to top it off, this morning I was spending time reading my devotionals, including one we are doing with our church during this current season of Lent, ‘40 Days with the Holy Spirit’ by R.T. Kendall. Today was titled The Holy Spirit Overrules and talked about times when God might overrule in your life. You may have set plans, when God in turn says, ‘nope, sorry, I have something else in mind.’ Well thankfully God has got it going on, lol. He is good, He knows more than we do, and His plans are always better.

So, 1. He knew exactly what I needed – blessed me with some extra love and pick-me-ups when He knew I needed them, and 2. For whatever reason, we weren’t supposed to go this past weekend, it’s ok, I trust it was for a good reason and I accept that His plans for me are better. (I know this was just a little hiccup/small disappointment in life compared to so many other bigger issues, but I am glad I was able to learn something from it in the end.)

God is good and He cares; tell Him what’s on your heart and trust His plans for you.

Prayer warrior…

January 19, 2018

A few years ago I took a spiritual gifts test, as our pastor encouraged; I’d recommend doing this if you never have before. I had an idea of what my gifts might be, or what I thought they might be, but it was very beneficial. I feel like it was not only enlightening but encouraging, as once I knew what my gifts were I could pray about and focus on being intentional about using them.  I scored highest in intercessory prayer, which was not one that I expected or realized I guess, but after thinking about it was not surprised.

I consider myself a prayer warrior. I have so many people and concerns that I pray regularly for and have seen so many of my prayers for others answered, it’s exhilarating! Much of my time running is spent praying; praying not only for the regular needs and requests known to me, but for so many random people as well, from people that pass by me, or people in the houses that I run past, to random people that pop into my head. I truly love praying for others and even more so love seeing prayers answered and God at work! God is so good!

I also often pray for my students.  This past week I’ve been working on a mass mailing of BMI letters that are required to be sent to every student’s parents (we’ll not get into the debate of whether or not this is beneficial). Monday when I started this task, it was an in-service day, without student office visit interruptions. I, for the first time, had the idea that I should pray for each of these students as I prepare their letters; after all each one requires thought and consideration for the letter and corresponding address label.  If I have to think about each student, why not pray for them and their families! It honestly filled me with joy in doing so, and I actually enjoyed mailing all the letters out. So, if you’re reading this and are on the receiving end of my BMI letters, know that you and your family have been prayed for!  I also prayed for a revival in this small little town; how awesome would that be! 

Psalm 5:3: “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”

Ephesians 6:18New International Version (NIV)

 18 And pray in the Spiriti on all occasionsjwith all kinds of prayers and requests.k With this in mind, be alert and always keep on prayingl for all the Lord’s people.

Feel free to leave a prayer request! And know someone is praying for you! ❤

Running, lifting, cheesecake…a little bit of everything…

January 10, 2018

I feel like I still haven’t slowed down since Christmas; granted our last Christmas get together was finally celebrated this past Saturday and today is my hubby’s birthday, so maybe after today things will slow down a little bit. So anyway, I’m not intentionally slacking on the blog, I’m just busy with other things..including baking and running!  I ran Friday in the cold, despite having a ‘snow day’ due to cold temperatures, then had to take Saturday off to get ready for our Christmas get together, and Sunday I had my alarm set, but at 6am the temperature was -16, so that made the decision to roll over and go back to bed a little easier!  Although I was tempted to run later that day when my hubby said I ‘couldn’t possibly run in this weather.’  Anyway, Monday, when I finally got to run again, it was 20* and honestly felt like a HEAT WAVE compared to the zero degree days all last week. The air had that eerie abnormally warm feeling, or as if a warm southern breeze was blowing although it was cold out; I’m not kidding, it’s sad when 20* feels like a heat wave!  Today it was back down to 15*, but still better than zero! And today was nice because the roads were clear and dry! It felt so much more effortless running!

Tuesday, although it was another warm morning at 30* and I was SO itching to run, I had made up my mind that I had to get back into my routine of strength training at least once a week, which for me is normally Tuesday.  I hadn’t lifted since late October when my back issues started; I didn’t want to make anything worse, but in the mean time I have lost a lot of strength in my core and that has made the back/hip issues worse.  Although I have ran more in the past year than ever before, I feel like this is the worst shape I’ve ever been in; I’ve got the post-holiday-my-pants-are-too-tight feeling going on and it’s not fun! Time to get back in the swing of things, I hope.

Don’t worry, unfortunately I still like to eat (that’s my biggest problem; for as much as I run I should be way thinner) and will still have yummy recipes to share with you.  As I shared on facebook last Friday, I was making one of my husband’s favorites, Dulce De Leche Cheesecake, for our Christmas get together with his family and doubling as a celebration for his birthday as well as his grandma’s whom he shares a birthday with.  He first had this cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory many years ago (8 or 9? now); I made one similar a few years ago, but it was lacking that creamy topping that the Cheesecake Factory’s had.  I found this ‘copycat’ Cheesecake Factory recipe here..  I was excited because it had some sort of topping; but had I read the recipe closer I would have realized, like I did while I was actually making the topping, that it wasn’t the rich creamy topping Chris had previously liked, but just a browned butter, brown sugar frosting.  Everyone seemed to like it but, it was a bit too sweet for my liking and I preferred it without the frosting topping.  So I will still be on the lookout for a recipe similar to the one he enjoyed previously! If you have come across one, leave a link in the comments below!

dulce de leche

Not the best picture but I guess it’s a good sign that its nearly gone by time you get to snap a picture!  The crust made of golden Oreos was a nice touch and, FYI the Dulce De Leche sauce was difficult to find (coming from a rural area); be sure to plan ahead and buy online or I was finally able to find it in the international isle at Tops grocery store.  (I found sites through pinterest that instructed on how to make your own Dulce De Leche sauce as well; but to do it right takes hours.)


Want longer lashes?

December 27, 2017

You didn’t know this blog gave beauty tips too, did ya? 😜 Guess again, as I’m probably the least knowledgable person when it comes to make-up, beauty, etc. However, I think I’m starting a new trend here… Who needs those fake eyelashes when you can just go out for a winter run and come home with beautiful ‘ice-lashes’… lovely little icicles that form on your lashes! I think I’m onto something here! 😘

Yes, it was a chilly 1* out this am but I dressed appropriately and as long as I kept moving, it really was not that bad out. Thankfully it wasn’t windy at all. It was one of those crisp, crystal clear mornings; it wasn’t snowing but under the street lights it looked as if there was glitter floating around in the air. Do you know what I mean? The air was literally glistening; it was beautiful. 

I’m thankful to be out running the past two days, despite the cold temperatures, because I had to take a couple unplanned days off from running. I had intended to run Wednesday thru Saturday and take off Sunday and Monday for Christmas Eve and Christmas obviously; however I ran Wednesday and Thursday, then got up bright and early on the first day of ‘Christmas break’ to run Friday as planned and had terrible back pain. I had been having nagging back pain for approximately 6-8 weeks, that thankfully hadn’t kept me from doing my normal activities, but was bothering me enough that I did make an appointment. I didn’t want to go to the chiropractor, but did get into our local Pheonix Rehab facility with a well known/highly recommended local physical therapist. He knows his stuff and I’m so glad I went. Within two visits I was back in line and felt nearly 100% better! 

So back to Friday morning, woke up with terrible pain in my back/hip area again but on the opposite side from where it originated, and much much worse than what it felt like before. It was a struggle to stand on one leg long enough to put my pants on. This should have been an indicator that I probably shouldn’t run that morning…but I proceeded to get ready. I attempted to run but only made it three blocks before I turned around, admitted defeat, and shamefully walked back home. Ugh. Long story short, I was so thankful I could get back into Pheonix that morning. Once again I was ‘out’ on the other side and some strengthening exercises are in need after a few days of rest. 

 So anyway, back to what I was saying, I was thankful to be back to running after having four days off! Lord knows I love to eat and the holidays is no time for me to be off from running. Remember, I tend to run so I can eat the goodies I want! 😋

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas! It is such a busy time of year; I’ve been blogging less too, but plan to share more with you soon! Stay warm!

Busy, busy…

December 15, 2017

It’s been a busy week, busier than normal for a busy time of year! I’m busy baking today! I always enjoy taking a vacation day to help get my Christmas goodies done. Stay tuned for some Christmas baked goods recipes in the near future! I tend to make the same thing every year…What are some of your favorites? 

Been some cold, snowy runs this week but today was the coldest I believe, at 4*.  This is what dressing for 4* looks like:

Thankfully there wasn’t any wind, so it really wasn’t that bad. The snow and wearing the yak traks on my shoes really slows me down, but at least I got the miles in…today I actually got more miles in than number of degrees outside! :-p

Looking forward to to a warm shower and a day of baking! 

Dressing for the weather…

December 10, 2017

From a lot of experience running in every season and the varying weather we have in the area where I live, I’ve come to know exactly what I need to wear for different temperatures/forecasts. I usually lay my clothes out the night before, but sometimes, more often than not, you never quite know if you can trust what it’s telling you about the forecast 6-7 hours from then. (What!? You can’t trust the weather forecast? Shocking, I know!) 

So, normally for 20-30* I wear a semi-heavy shirt, light underneath and my normal running headband/earwarmer and gloves. For the teens I wear a hooded fleese and hat. You just have to figure out what works for you. So often people think I’m crazy for running in the cold temperatures but I actually prefer them. I’d run in 20* weather over 80* weather any day; you’re moving and if you dress appropriately you can manage to stay quite comfortable.

But the reason I had multiple things out this morning was because that ‘real feel’ temperature can be a real crap shoot.  Actually if you look up the definition of crap shoot, the example sentence given is regarding the weather -lol. I’ve found the ‘real feel’ is either the real deal and you’re freezing cold or it can also be pretty bogus. You just never know; hence the crap shoot. Today, headed out of town I found it was pretty bogus, as I opted to wear a hat and added a vest layer, just in case it was windy and the real feel was accurate. Thankfully I was pretty warm; however when I turned around to head back towards home there was a little more wind in my face and I was thankful I wore the added clothing; but I still didn’t feel it was as cold as the said real feel of 15*. 

Once it finally got light out, it was a beautiful morning, with the first fresh snow fall (well second, but first that I’ve ran in). It was a little slick in spots, requirng mindful short shuffling steps rather than nice long strides; but I knew heading out that the snow was definitely going to slow my pace down.  Thankful for this quiet start to my day and the beauty of the snow as we enjoy the Christmas season.

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Hunting and Running…

December 8, 2017

It’s currently deer hunting season and so far I’ve seen way more deer running in town than my husband has sitting out in his tree stand for hours and hours. (He’s not too happy about this fact.)  On my early morning run today, I stumbled upon 5 deer (all doe I believe) right in town near our Elementary School; all within 15 yards of myself.  I’ve seen them there before; and in the winter when I’m out running before the snow  plows have come through, I have been able to follow their tracks often enough to know where they regularly come from and where they are normally headed. A few weeks ago, during archery deer season Whitney and I counted 11-13 deer in town one morning on our run!! In town! I love seeing wildlife on my runs…everything except skunks that is!

I honestly never used to understand why people liked to hunt so much – like eat, sleep, and breath hunting…in nearly every season.  I couldn’t imagine getting up before the crack of dawn, to sit in the woods, in the cold, wind, rain, snow, etc. and call it fun.  Then about two years ago it hit me, while I was out running during hunting season, in the very early morning, before the crack of dawn, in the cold, wet, somewhat icky weather…and loving every minute of it.  It was then that I realized how much some people must love to hunt because that is exactly how I feel about running.  Rain or shine, I’m out there because I just love to run. Hunt on, boys (and girls)… do what ya love, love what ya do, right?

Not my best stats this morning, I had some kinks, aches & pains but it was still better than not running at all! 🙂 (21* clear morning; didn’t feel as cold as it sounds.)

I have a sign in my office that says: Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.  For me that’s God and running!  What makes your heart race or gets you out of bed in the morning? What do you have a passion for?


I’m very thankful for my ability to run; I try to never take it for granted. I enjoy setting goals for myself and feel better when I have something ahead of me that I’m striving for. I’m not sure if that’s always a good thing but I guess as long as you don’t let it ‘become your god’ or your only focus, it’s OK.  Most of my goals are geared towards running, however I have had other goals related to education and parenting, etc. 

I was bummed I didn’t reach my goal of a second marathon for the year but I felt better knowing  that 1. I had completed the training for it, even if I was crazy running 20 miles for no reason, and 2. I was still striving to reach my milage goal for the year.  Last year I had set a goal to run 1000 miles in a year, for the first time.  It came down to a very snowy day in late December but I was able to reach the mark.  I felt I had to improve upon that number and was going to strive for 100 miles a month or 1200 miles for this year.

I honestly only set these goals for myself; not having a care in the world what anyone else thinks of them. I was thrilled with the 1000 last year but honestly didn’t feel like it was a big deal… people do it all the time, including my running partner who had well over that last year. It wasn’t a huge deal but I was thankful to have met my goal. 

I am thankful to have met the goal I set before myself again this year. I enjoyed a celebratory run with my partner in crime, Whitney, who has been by my side for many of those 1200 miles this year. Thankful to have met her on a random early morning run last fall! 

I run in the dark, the cold, the wind and rain and snow…not just to reach goals but just because I love to run that much! Do what you love, love what you do! 

Good food…for the most part…


December 4, 2017 

Well, sometimes you win some – like grand slam, out of the park – and sometimes you lose some…like big fat flop. In reference to food, we had some of both this weekend.  It had been a while since I had such a baking flop! I was so excited to make Carrot Cake Cheesecake for a special birthday this weekend, as I’ve made it in the past and its super yummy!  I put a teaser on Facebook and couldn’t wait to share a picture of the finished product with you all… but perhaps I was a little too proud of my baking abilities.  It definitely was NOT picture worthy…edible, but not picture worthy.  Honestly, it could have benefited from a few extra minutes in the over (as if 15 extra minutes wasn’t enough already).  Oh well, like I said, ya win some, ya lose some…live and learn.  Thankfully the celebration was with my family and they were all kind and said it was delicious; but I have tasted it when it was delicious and this did not measure up!  Hopefully it will be share-worthy next time I make it! 

On to the things that were share-worthy: 

Fresh sautéed pears over French toast for Sunday morning breakfast hit the spot after a quick 10 mile run.  It was a crisp, beautiful December morning at 30* and another beautiful sunrise.  They aren’t all brilliantly vibrant in color, but they are all beautiful.  The run was exactly what I needed as I felt God ‘fall fresh on me;’ needed to feel renewed and to destress.    

For the birthday celebration my hubby was firing up his new smoker that he built himself a couple months ago.  His tastiest creation so far has been this melt-in-your-mouth, super tender and moist, bursting with flavor, beer-can-chicken.  It is seriously so good- like the grand slam, out of this park good I mentioned earlier; by far the best chicken I’ve ever had.  Honestly, he doesn’t really ‘know his way around the kitchen,’ so for him to prepare two rubs and a marinate to inject into the chickens, all by himself – and have it taste this amazing, I am super impressed!  I’m going to have him share more details on his homemade smoker and beer-can-chicken recipe in the near future….stay tuned. In the meantime, this is for your viewing pleasure (and if there was only a way for you to smell the aroma that lingered around the outside of our house)… 


I also had the pleasure of helping my little chef, Lila, create her own pasta salad side dish to go with dinner…stay tuned for more on that later in the week.  And lastly, my sister-in-law brought the tastiest oven roasted, maple glazed mixture of vegetables; they were so good everyone, including the kiddos asked for seconds! I might be able to share that recipe in the near future as well!  Lots of yummies to be on the lookout for! 

 Finally, here is the recipe for the pears we enjoyed for breakfast.  The recipe was adapted from Annie’s Eats, which is one of my favorite food blogs (she now offers more than just recipes…).  In her recipe the pears are intended for a homemade granola, which I have made before and is very satisfying as well; I would recommend it!  They would also be a great topping for waffles or in a ‘stuffed French toast,’ perhaps on pancakes as well….or even ice cream (sweet after thought)!


Sautéed Pears 

2 Tbsp butter 

5 pears (I used bartlett)  

2-3 Tbsp honey 

1 tsp vanilla 

½ tsp cinnamon 

 Melt butter, add pears, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until pears start to soften, edges begin to appear translucent, and juices are released.  Then stir in the honey, vanilla and cinnamon until well combined. Continue to cook a few more minutes.  Enjoy.