August 23, 2012

Where We Belong

I am a woman-obsessed. With all things Emily Giffin, that is. I just finished her latest book, "Where We Belong," and have been INSPIRED by this must read.

The book is about love, family and finding yourself, in the midst of chaos. It's one of those books that you stay up late to read & then dream about. One that you crack open during your lunch hour, no matter how hectic your day is. It's the kind of book that you try to read while cramming breakfast down your throat in the morning, even if you can only get a page - or a paragraph - in.

It's a book that inspired me to take a look into my own life & my own family & love situations.


My reading realizations:

1. I wouldn't be satisfied with anything other than a messy love.

I've often envyed couples who meet as adults. "How easy," I think, "when you both meet at a point in your life when you know who you are & you both have your stuff together. You get the opportunity to see if who you are & what you want, fits with who they are & what they want. You don't just fall blindly in love, you make the decision with your heart and your head."

Now, I realize my idea of "grown up dating" may not always be reality, but it's what I picture, since I've never gone on a date w/anyone post-college, besides my husband.

Where We Belong made me look at our marriage completely differently.

Having a history, with all of the ups & downs, good & bad that come with that, is real.

Here we are at our high school, where it all began. : )




No wonder in movies like, "Sweet Home Alabama" I get torn between the perfect guy who takes the girl to a private opening at Tiffany's to pick out an engagement ring & the high school sweetheart who once was a screw up, but has grown into a good man.
Or The Notebook, where Allie is choosing between good on paper & the person that was meant for her.

This makes me realize that I picked my very own Noah.



And I'm able to have peace with the non-perfectness of our relationship. It's a wonderful feeling to know that your partner has seen it all from you & knows you almost better than you know yourself. And that's something that can only come with time & trials. History.



2. Relationships don't have to look one certain way.

Some of you know, most of you don't, but I met my biological father when I was 23 years old. Three short years ago. It's not something that I discuss often, and I'm not quite sure I've even wrapped my mind completely around it yet, but reading Where We Belong made me realize that our relationship does not have to look like the typical father-daughter relationship. Because it's not.

Here we are, about a month after we met.



Sometimes we get so focused on doing things the way we think they "should" be done, without really realizing that we can do things ANY WAY WE WANT. It's such an "ah ha" moment when that realization hits us & we begin to shape our live & relationships in a way the works best for us.

Overall, Where We Belong was a true keeper. I haven't met a person who did absolutely love it. I don't think I've given much away about the book, so you should go check it out. I hope you love it as much as I did.

August 21, 2012

Must Dos of Summer 2012

Now that we're down to the final month of summer everyone is ready for fall. We're dreaming of cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, football and chilly weather - but not so fast!

Trust me, I'm loving that fall is quickly approaching as much as the next person, but I want to soak up my last Kansas summer while I can! And Giuliana Rancic's Fab.Fit.Fun. newsletter has given me just the inspiration I need to do that. 

While I've accomplished many of the items on this list, I would love to tackle more of them over the next month (September 21st is officially the last day). Would you like to join me??



Since this is hard to read, you can check out the full article here: http://fabfitfun.com/summertime-must-dos

So for now I'm off to enjoy the rest of summer!

PS - Does anyone love Giuliana as much I do?? She rocks!

August 19, 2012

Week 8 - Halfway to a 1/2 Marathon!

Here we are, halfway done with our training, which means we are EIGHT WEEKS away from our first 1/2 Marathon! Two months!!

In the first half of traning I ran 105.5 miles. I have 120 to miles go in the final half, before October 14th - race day.


There is one cute note I must share from this week. I hit a hard spot on my long run in Sedgwick County Park today with Cory. So he ran to the other side of the path, swooped down & picked a sunflower for me. Sweetest running partner ever.

On another note, almost as cute, I got a three pack of tennis balls to roll my feet over (the idea came from this pin - http://pinterest.com/pin/36169603228159855/) and this is what happened next:

I began rolling my tootsies.



Then Natty decided she wanted one of the balls.



And since Natty had a ball, Winston needed one.



Which meant Natty STILL had a ball, so of course Winston needed that one too.


 
In the second half of my training I plan to experiment w/GU, ice baths & foam rollers and who knows what else.




Check back next weekend to see how the next 12 miles go!




August 18, 2012

Margarita Date Night


We have a little over a month left of summer, so I thought I would share a date night outfit that I wore at the beginning of the summer.

Cory & I went out for margaritas & cheap (but delicious) mexican food & I wore this flowy number with black gladitor sandals.



Earrings - Alter Ego, Dress - Gianni Binni, Sandals (which you can't see) - Kensie

Simple & easy!  

August 11, 2012

1/2 Marathon Training: Weeks 5-7 + 1

I haven't been blogging about my training nearly as much as I had planned to, but I hope to step that up in the second half of training.

Half of me feels like I have been training for so long and the other half feels like 13.1 is still a long way to go.

As of now I've been training for 8 weeks, but last week I realized that we started training a week before we were suppose to (following a 16 week training program, so we will have trained for 17 weeks by the time the 1/2 rolls around). I took the extra week & fit in some of the runs I had missed over the first seven.  So next week I will officially be on week 8 of training, with 8 more to go.

Almost to the halfway mark. 

 Each runs seems to be different, sometimes mile one is tough, sometimes it's mile five. When running w/my first time 1/2 buddies - sometimes chat, sometimes we don't, sometimes we push each other & sometimes we give each other a break. I will say, getting out there is always worth it.



 
I had my first running tumble in Omaha. I was trying to avoid geese, slipped on the grass & scrapped my knee & twisted my left ankle. Ouch. This goes down in the books as injury #2.

 Another issue I've been having is a pinched nerve in my right foot (admittingly another self-diagnosis) that flares every so often & causes a sharp, shooting pain in the top of my foot & toes. Injury #4.

Sometimes I have to literally pray my way through runs, but I'm not giving up.

I'm looking forward to finishing this week strong, with the Glow Run 5k tonight & either 2.5 or 4 miles tomorrow, depending on how we feel and then starting next week off fresh.

Next week I plan to blog about how I'm feeling at the halfway point in our training & I also plan to talk a little about my playlist (a hot topic in our newbie running circle) -make sure you check back then!




August 6, 2012

Two Year Anniversary

I apologize for being MIA these past three weeks - I have been one busy girl w/BIGwork events, back-to-back-to-back. But now I'm back. To Back. Okay, enough.

Last month Cory & I celebrated our two year anniversary. I honestly can't believe that two entire years have gone by since we said, "I DO!" Time really does fly.

Below is the verse we chose to be read during our wedding ceremony. It took us several weeks to pick a verse, because we wanted something unique that spoke to us as a couple. Instead, we decided on one of the most commonly used bible verses for weddings. But really, what better advice is there than this?


A couple of my most favorite moments during our wedding day -

The moment I walked down the aisle to see the teary-eyed man I had began loving at 17.





Cory surprising me during our vows by writing his on a giant construction paper heart. Love this kid.



The dress - duh!



Like I love to do during every milestone, big & small, we took some time to reflect on our favorite times over the past year & talk about the things that we would like to see happen in our marriage going forward.

While I'll keep that sweet conversation just between us, I will share two of my absolute favorite things about being married to Cory.
1. How far we've come.

It is wild & amazing & beautiful just how much you change each year of your twenties. And I think it's just as awesome when two people can find a way to move towards their best selves, without losing sight of each other. This is something that I think Cory & I have done, and continue to do.

We've had plenty of hard times over these past two years, but thankfully, we've had even more happy times. And through the hard times, we've bonded together & grown closer.

I can honestly say that being in love with Cory makes me a better version of myself.




2. The things we share.

And so the story goes that opposites attrac, but then what?
Well, apparently they can find new things they like to do TOGETHER!

At the point in our lives when Cory proposed, one of my biggest frustrations was that we didn't have that many similiar interests.

He liked hunting, drinking beer in driveways/darkgarages & wearing cut-off t-shirts.

I liked reading, going to classy establishments w/dim lighting & needed a mani/pedi every two weeks.

And while we both still like to do those things, we've also found things that we love to do with each other, over anyone else.

For instance, running. And tasting wine & cheese. And fashion - well, that may be going a little far, but at least Cory now likes to expand his wardrobe and even sort of understands what I mean when I say that an article of clothing is an investment piece.

Here we are at Oeno, sampling wine & cheese to celebrate our anniversary. Well, I was sampling wine; Cory had something else in mind that evening.


We love taking our dogs on walks. And cooking. (Okay, he cooks - I pour the wine or open the beer, which is another thing we share - I'm a beer drinker!) And traveling. We love to travel.

And talking. And being outside, even if it is just to sit. And setting goals & accomplishing them. And bike riding. And trying all sorts of new things (date night yoga, anyone?)!



 The past two years have been some of the best in my life & I am thankful for every second of them. Here's to another two more. And the seventy after that...