Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

(Disclaimer: I apologize for the horrible point-and-shoot camera quality. A new, beautiful camera is on my current wish list.)

If you haven't already heard, I love fall! And this past week, I immersed myself in the season.

First up on the list, apple and pumpkin pie! Yum!
Next, pumpkin decorating.

We have always carved our pumpkins, but making such a huge, icky mess did not seem fun to me. So instead, we painted!

And of course, some Hog Football! Lucky us, my dad gave us some great tickets at the last minute. Un-showered and gross from working in the yard, we hopped in the car and drove up to Fayetteville.

The leaves are starting to change...

This is a horrid picture but I had to document the awesome-ness of the seats. It was nice to sit inside with some amazing food, but it's just not the same atmosphere. Cold Weather+UofA Band+Crowd chants= football experience!

So, we didn't stay up here the whole game. We went down and sat with the fam for the second half. Dad has pretty sweet seats too.

Look at Derek's cute little legs.

Call Them Hogs!! WOOOO PIG SOOIE!

Great week/weekend of fall and family! Hope you have a marvelous Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bionic Woman

I am The Bionic Woman

I can jump over houses.

I can kick you with the force of 10 bulls

Okay, not really. It's just some sort of steroid/electro-stimulation for my IT band. The hook ups/benefits of working at a hospital...

Now off to prepare for Halloween and cheer on my Hogs!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rest, Ice, Elevate, Repeat

Well apparently, after consulting my physical therapy friends (I love working at a hospital), my IT band is strained. It is a common running injury of irritating the iliotibial band, a muscle on the outside of the thigh, which becomes tendinous and results in a friction syndrome by rubbing against the femur as it runs alongside the knee joint.

After working with a PT for a while, I was finally able to walk without limping. He hopes I can be out running soon, while utilizing some before and after stretches. Until then, I might be looking into purchasing some new running shoes. I plan to be 'fitted' again to ensure I am in the appropriate shoe for my stride. But for now I rest, ice, and elevate as much as possible. Being on my feet all day at the hospital, and walking 3 miles a day on average, 'rest' is a relative term.

I can't thank everyone enough for their thoughts and encouraging words. It is so easy to be overwhelmed with a running injury. I have spent countless hours training- stretching rigorously and not increasing mileage too soon- trying to do everything the right way as to avoid an injury. And 3 1/2 weeks before my race, BAM! it hits me. Very discouraging. But thanks to my amazing and experienced running friends, I feel assured that I will get through this silly thing. Apparently, this is very common...

...Wait a second, does this mean I'm part of the prestigious Runner's Club now that I've had a 'runner's injury'? Can I consider myself a real live runner now? Probably not :) But I'll pretend.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Alex and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Run

So, I'm totally freaking out right now.

Sunday Jessi and I had a marvelous and strong 9 mile run,
Monday I took a rest from running and cross trained on the bike for 60 minutes,
Tuesday I ran a strong 3 miles then stretched in yoga for an hour, and
Wednesday I ran 5 miles through horrible, sucky pain.

It wasn't a 'oo-I've-got-a-cramp' pain, but more like 'my-knee-is-unstable-and-is-effecting-the-rest-of-my-stride' pain. Does that make sense?

It started around 3.5 miles as a pain in my outer right knee. By mile 4 it had stretched to my ankle. This is when I should have stopped running. But I really wanted to get good mileage in this week! During the last mile I could feel the pain in my right hip. I was limping to finish the last half-mile. I'm sure I looked pathetic.

Weird thing is, when I stopped running and began walking the pain immediately when away. I stretched and stretched, hoping I would find a pulled or cramped muscle or tendon somewhere. Nothing. It wasn't until I was walking to my car before I felt it again. And now I'm limping around the house. I don't know much about running pains or injuries but something just doesn't feel right.

Needless to say, once home I iced my knees, popped some ibuprofen and said a quick prayer hoping this isn't any kind of injury. I am going to take tomorrow off as a rest day, but I'm totally freaking out. The race is less than 4 weeks away and we have been training so well! I felt so strong up until today...what is happening!?

I'm totally bummed but hoping some rest will do me good.

Fingers crossed.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blah, Blah, Bland.

I'm not feeling much inspiration to write this week. I asked Josh for some suggestions; he purely offered "Keep it light... you've been really deep these past couple posts."

Okay okay, I get the picture! But what to write about?

My week? Nah, it was pretty boring. My day is pretty typical and routine: Work 8-4:30, meet the hubby at the gym for the day's workout, come home to make dinner, then sit down for our nightly tv, and off to bed. bORing!

My running? Okay, I can talk about that... It has been going really well! I ran 9 miles today with Mrs. Leonard and it felt GREAT! Even though it was much warmer than expected and we had to stop for a fuel/bathroom break 4 miles in, I felt strong the whole way through. I can't believe the race is only 4 weeks away! Eek! So excited.

Ajax? She's the same as yesterday, as she will be tomorrow. Her schedule is pretty routine as well: Sleep, eat, drink, go outside, repeat. Oh, life as a dog.

Well, ladies and gentlemen. That was me 'keeping it light'.

Pretty bland, huh?

If you actually read this whole thing, I apologize. However, I can't promise it won't happen again.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Every month my employer sends out a newsletter consisting of anything from "Town Hall Meeting" times and stories of our impact around the community to employees of the month and up coming events. It is always up lifting and promotes a culture of community, and October's 'issue' was no different.

On the front page, you will always find a message from our CEO who strives to be a servant leader. This month's message was a story shared to her by a doctor and it is a lesson I need to be reminded of constantly. I want to share with you that story, hoping that you will be as convicted as I was.

We convince ourselves that life will be better once we are married, have a baby, then another. Then we get frustrated because our children are not old enough. We tell ourselves all will be well when they are older. Then we are frustrated because they reach adolescence, and we must deal with them. Surely we'll be happier hen they grow out of the teen years. We tell ourselves our life will be better when our spouse gets his/her act together, when we have a nicer car, when we can take a vacation, when we finally retire.

The truth is, there is no better time to be happy than right now. If not, then when? Your life will always be full of challenges. It is better to admit as much and decide to be happy in spite of it all. For the longest time, it seemed that life was about to start. Real life! But there was always some obstacle along the way, an ordeal to get through, some work to be finished, some time to be given, a bill to be paid. Then life would start.

I finally came to understand that those obstacles ARE life. That point of view helped me see that there isn't any road to happiness. Happiness IS the road. So, enjoy the moment.

Stop waiting for school to end, for a return to school, to lose 10 pounds, to gain 10 pounds, for work to begin, to get married, for Friday evening, for Sunday mornings, waiting for a new car, for your mortgage to be paid off, for spring, for summer, for fall, for winter, for the first or the fifteenth of the month, for your song to be played on the radio, to die, to be reborn... before deciding to be happy.

Happiness is a voyage, not a destination. There is no better time to be happy than now. Live and enjoy the moment.

I Love My Life. My Joys Are Simple.

I Am Happy.

Friday, October 8, 2010

He Never Makes Mistakes

Please watch clip below:

I have never said this about Sue Sylvester before (she is a hilariously cynical cheerleading coach on Glee...if you haven't watched this show before, you are missing out!) but I can relate to her in this clip. Although I never questioned God's love for me and my family, I saw the world treat my older brother differently. I saw people look at him strangely and degrade him, all because he was born with Down Syndrome.
When I was younger, I always saw my brother as annoying and pestering, but never as different. He was just like every other older brother, or so I thought. It was in elementary school when I saw a change in how people reacted to Derek. A school friend didn't come to my house because my brother looked weird, and I once over heard a girl in class making fun of my brother while I waited in the car-pool line. I remember holding back my tears until I climbed into my mom's mini van, then bawling- not understanding why people were so mean.
I embrace the fact that my brother isn't like other brothers- he's better. Let me elaborate...
I can do no wrong in my brother's eyes.
He is ELATED when he gets a call from you... every single time.
He calls just to see what Ajax is doing.
He calls just because he hasn't talked to me that day. 'Hey Sis, jus callin cuz I hadn't talk to you in longtime. Call me back. Luv ya. Bye' Seriously, his message is exactly the same every single time.
If I want the front seat, last piece of cake, or the remote control, he will give it to me (unless it's wrestling night, then I know better not to even ask).
He consistently reminds me that I'm the best sister. And almost every time I see him, he tells me how beautiful and skinny I about self confidence boost (it's okay he's a little bias).
He is my Number 1 Fan! And, let me tell you, he isn't a fair weather fan- he's all or nothing! He gives you 100% and never doubts your ability to do anything. Quite inspiring. I have more confidence in things because Derek already knows I can do them.
He is in awe of my husband- Josh can do no wrong either. They have a common love of video games and wrestling and can talk for hours on those two subjects alone.
He is simple. He is happy. He laughs at everything.
I can go on and on about how my brother is better than any brother in the world...but I don't want you to get too jealous.

Yes, sometimes I get sad that I will never be an aunt. Or that I will never get to welcome a sister-in-law into our family. But it stops there. The love Derek has in his heart makes me never wish things to be different.

And like Sue's sister said:

God Never Makes Mistakes.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hello Newman

In a few short days, my stepdad (aka: Mr. House and Car Fixer-Upper/Knower Of All Random Facts) is leaving for Afghanistan. He will be gone for 30 days, and while I know this isn't near as long as some men and women leave their families, I honestly do not know what we are going to do without him.

Here is 4/5ths of the family in Iowa in '08

And this is my sweet sweet step sister in '08. Can't believe she is almost 8 years old now! She is gonna miss her daddy!

And here is my beautiful mother. He sure does make her happy.

We love you and will miss you every single day. Hurry back home!