Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Naked Face Project

Yesterday I read a post from Caitlin which really got me thinking. Starting February 1st, she is beginning on a 60-day journey which she titled The Naked Face Project, where she is giving up beauty habits such as wearing makeup, shaving, styling hair, and other "expected" beauty habits women sometimes believe they have to do to be accepted by peers.

She isn't trying to take any feminist/political statement or prove a point, but merely hit the "refresh" button on why she does the things she does. Caitlin puts it this way...

"I don't know if there is something inherently wrong or contradictory with my Beauty Habits, but I feel so dependent on the intention behind them, like if I don't wear makeup or shave, I'm not a 'real' woman. It has gotten to the point that I am not sure why I do it at all - or who I am doing it for. And trust me, I don't wear makeup, shave, pluck, or wax because it's 'fun.'"

Why do I put on make up every day? Yea, it makes me feel good, but mainly it's to hide my "imperfections". I look in the mirror each morning and am thankful for makeup to cover up all my flaws. While I don't wear a lot, I couldn't imagine going to work, church, or parties without it. I honestly admire women who daily go out into the world without covering up and I've always secretly wanted to be that confident.

That is why, starting February 1st, I am partaking in The Naked Face Project. I'm not going to the full extent of what the project is, but I do want to push myself. Therefore, I am not wearing makeup for 30 days. I am doing this so I can reexamine why I wear makeup. I am doing this because I want to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I am doing this because I truly believe God made me perfect and beautiful, and feeling the need to hide/change myself is saying He made a mistake. Again, I don't think that wearing makeup is wrong, but I do feel like I am wrongly dependent on it to 'accept' my beauty.

I have no expectations or assumptions at the end of this, I'm just excited to find out where I will be 60 days from now! Wish me luck!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Monotony

Lately, when I talk to my friends and family from my home town, the first thing I am asked is "What have you been up to?" Although I understand the reasoning behind the question (and I always ask the question back), I hate answering. I don't enjoy answering the question because it makes my life seem dull and monotonous.

The response is usually something like "Oh, you know, same old stuff: working and running."

While that may seem rather boring to some people, I actually find my day-to-day life 100% enjoyable and packed with things I love.

This weekend was no different.

Friday I went out to eat with coworkers for a much needed evening of relaxation and laughter. After having a semi-stressful work week, it was nice to have fun with people I truly enjoy working with.
The best therapists in NWA fighting over a huge bowl of perfected quacalome

My Saturday looked like the same Saturday I have had for the past 12 weeks. I had a relaxing morning and a hardy breakfast, then completed my long run of 17 miles. This is hands down the longest I've ever run. Luckily, Josh ran the first 8 miles with me; the last 9 miles I tackled solo.

And while your running around Fayetteville for 17 miles, you might as well run errands while your out.
Hello massive-looking arm and tiny-sweaty head.

Our Redbox drop off is only 2.3 miles away. Having a purpose for the run made it feel a little different. Problem was, I didn't have quite the mission the other 14.7 miles.

But it was a successful long run nonetheless: total time- 3:04 with an average pace of 10:48. Not speedy, but I'll take it. One thing I've learned about marathon training is that I can't worry about my time. As this is my first marathon, my primary goal is just to get it done. So if I have to skip, hop, or crawl all 26.2 miles I will. And if it takes me 6 hours to complete, awesome. I just want to finish!

On Sunday, after church, Josh and I spent some quality time together grocery shopping and cleaning- oh so romantic.
Josh looking quite dashing. 
Sorry that I posted this honey. Wait, no I'm not.

Later in the day we kicked off the first meeting of the semester for our community group. We are starting a study called Real Marriage by Mark & Grace Driscoll. We are really excited about this study and what God has planned for our marriage. I'm also super pumped about getting to know the other couples in the group. There is something so special about getting together with other believers to encourage and support one another.

So, while my weekends may have the same theme over and over again, I wouldn't choose to spend them any other way. I love the consistency in my life!

What did you do this weekend? Do you find your weekends consist of the same activities? Do you love it or do you desire some more spontaneity? 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I was tagged in the fun '11' post going around the blog world by little Mrs. Pregnant Hannigan and thought today would be the perfect day to share. Because, you know, beautiful Tuesdays in January are the ideal days for tagged posts. Right?

The Rules:
1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 11 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post. And then create 11 new questions for the people you tagged.
4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them.

Let the fun begin! I know you guys are just dying to know more about me. Why else would you read my blog that is all about my boring, mundane life?

11 Fun (or not so fun) facts:
1. I danced for 16 years of my life, 6 of which were competitive. I wasn't bad, but I sure wasn't best. But as a result, I can rock the Kinect and Wii dance games. Seriously, I got some moves. Challenge me.
2. I had a pot belly pig growing up. He was black and his name was Babe. He was then ran over by my cousin while he was backing out of the drive way. Tragic.
3. I hate tomatoes. I want to like tomatoes- they are so pretty and look so juicy and tasty, but every time I try one, YUCK! So nasty.
4. I studied abroad in Australia for 3 months during undergrad. It was the best time of my life and I am so blessed I was able to do travel there. Australia/New Zealand= best place in the world.
5. I was looking through our honeymoon pictures the other day and it made me want to A)grow out my hair, B)kick butt in the gym, and C)start a count down to our vacation.
6. My brother won a 5-day cruise in March, but insisted that he didn't want to go and talked my dad into giving the vacation to Josh and I. Free vacation? Yes please!
7. Whenever I begin to have baby fever, I look at my bank account, my travel plans, my running/triathlon goals, and remind myself I get to sleep in on Saturday and it usually satisfies my cravings. Usually.
8. My husband does the majority of the cleaning. That, my friends, is the benefit of having a spouse go to school full time. Coming home to a clean house daily is quite amazing.
9. I'm really interested in vegetarian/vegan eating for health reasons. I try to only eat meat 1x a week, maximum, and that is only because I think my husband would die if I didn't feed him meat.
10. I am currently in a wonderful girls Bible study and we just started my first Beth Moore study. I am taking the huge challenge of (trying) to memorize the book of James. So far, I am incredibly shocked by the blessings I've received by reciting the few verses I now know. I can only imagine how my relationship is going to grow over the next few months!
11. In elementary school, my friend and I started a duet dance group named The Spandex Twins. We chose that name because the only thing we owned that matched were a pair of spandex shorts.  We sold out at every performance. Obviously.

Jennifer's Questions for me:
1. What is your favorite blog? Ooh, started off with a hard one. Probably Jenna of Eat, Live, Run because I love her writing voice and recipes, and I'm super jealous of her California life. But The Pioneer Woman is a close second.
2. If you had a completely free day to do whatever you wanted, how would you spend it? Sleep in. Run. Have a big brunch. Read. Take the dogs to the dog park. Then win the lottery.
3. What is your biggest food weakness and why? Pizza. Even bad pizza is good pizza!
4. What is one skill/talent you would love to learn? I wish I could sing, but I'm so bad no one could ever help me. So, more realistically, I'd love to play the piano
5. What is one thing your dream house would have to have? Only one thing? A huge front and back porch/deck. (Okay, I cheated- that was really two)
6. What is your favorite TV show of all time? Seinfield. It's classic and it will ALWAYS be funny.
7. What is your favorite childhood toy and why? My Barbie Mansion. It had an elevator. Enough said.
8. If you were to have a patronus (a shield against dark forces that takes on the shape of an animal) like in Harry Potter, what animal would yours be? A white tiger. Dementors are probably terrified of white tigers.
9. Where did you grow up and would you change that location if you could? Central Arkansas- And no, I wouldn't change it for the world.
10. Are you a dog or cat person? Or neither? Why? Both! While I have two dogs, I LOVE kitties! If I had a huge house and yard, I would have lots and lots of dogs and cats. The more the merrier (as long as someone else fed and cleaned up after them).
11. What is something you always dread? Folding laundry. Always

My questions for you:
1. Mac or PC?
2. What is a song you can't help but dance to?
3. Do you collect anything or have way too much of something?
4. How do you separate your clothes while doing laundry? This may seem like a boring question, but I always wonder if there are better ways to do it.
5. What is the most adventurous thing you've ever done?
6. What would be your last meal on earth?
7. Where do you have no desire to travel to?
8. How would you describe your decorating style?
9. Name something you are really good at. Go ahead, brag!
10. Did you have a pet growing up?
11. What is your dream career?

Tag! You're it!
(Because I'm cool, I'm only tagging a few people. Fun fact #12: I'm rebellious)
Jessi of Jessi Makes Things
Shelley of Mile High Healthy
Bonnie of Sweet Caroline and Thomas
Lindsey of The Savvy Speechie
Stephanie of Run, Knit, Get Hitched
Errign of Errign's Adventures
Sommer of The Leonards
Lauren of The Stewarts Living

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Change of Plans

So I had planned to log 16 miles today, but I had a restless night (dreamed that Josh died and I had to call our family and friends to share the news! Woke up crying, tried to go back to sleep, and dreamt the same dream. Horrible!) and the windchill is below 20 degrees so I decided I'd postpone the run until tomorrow.

This is not ideal because I have church in the morning, then I'm trying a hot (the room will be 85 degrees!) vinyasa yoga class tomorrow at 4:00. It might result in me being in child's pose for the entire 90 minutes, but we'll see!

So, to embrace the change in plans, I'd thought I'd share some things on my DIY-ToDo List, which Pinterest has so kindly organized. Thanks again Pinterest. Have I told you today how much I love you?

Recovering a chair tutorial. I have an antique vanity chair that is currently a rotten yellow color and definitely needs some updating.

Love this idea! Maps of where you met, married, and live.

And more with some cute, romantical decor. I'd love to hang this by our garage door!

I'm loving my theme of seasonal wreaths, and this one is perfect for spring!

I need more cross stitching in my life. So relaxing.

What are some things on your DIY-ToDoList?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I'm back

Guess what?! I got to run 14 miles this past weekend! And while it ended with this:
 it was fantastic!

But lets back up a minute. After my awesome 12-miler, I had some strange inner hip/groin pain for a few days and I was afraid I either pulled a muscle or created a stress fracture. To avoid injury, I thought it would be smart to take time off. Since I had built in some cushion in my training plan, missing my long run was not going to set me back.

Then the Friday before the following week's long run, Josh and I went rock climbing. Look how cute Josh looks in his climbing gear.
 And here I am. Excited and ready to climb!
Too bad I am also a super clumsy and majorly stubbed my big toe, which left me unable to climb and limping for days. Seriously, I'm not exaggerating the pain; I could not put any weight on my toes and running was obviously out of the question. Luckily my toe wasn't broken, just badly bruised. (And still isn't back to 100%).

So, after missing two weeks of long runs, I was nervous to jump back in. But, with my marathon only 8 weeks away, I had no choice. 

I coordinated to run parts of my run with some of my favorite running buddies. After running four miles on the Fayetteville trail, Rachel met me to run three nice and easy miles.

Who wouldn't want to run with that face?!
Then, I scheduled it perfectly so as Rachel and I were finishing our three miles, Jessi showed up to run three more with me.
This is not a picture of us running. But we are laughing and having fun, which is how we feel when we run. Sometimes.

Hey Jessi. Let's go to Mojitos again. We had a lot of fun there. Maybe after this weekend's long run? Awesome.

After Jessi and I finished our three miles (in case you've lost count: 4solo miles + 3 with Rachel + 3 with Jessi= 10miles), I was feeling pretty defeated. My knees were aching and my IT bands were furious. 

Despite the pain, I was determined to finish all 14 miles. During the last four solo miles I kept envisioning crossing the finish line in New Orleans and it gave me enough strength to push through until the end. These miles were not pretty and I use the term 'running' very loosely (more like using momentum to move forward while I scuffed my feet...I'm sure fellow trail-users were jealous of my stellar form) but 14.00 beeped on my Garmin and that is all that matters! 

Even though the run wasn't pretty and ended in an ice bath,
and then even more icing that evening,
I consider it a complete success! It re-ignited my excitement for finishing my first full marathon. So ladies and gentlemen, I'm back!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'm Taking 2012 By Storm

One of my favorite times of year- Making my new years resolutions!!

I absolutely love January. You are able to reflect on the past year's accomplishments, failures, and everything in between. And then get to have a 'clean slate' and set a new bar. Your dreams can be limitless!

Eek! Just makes me giddy with excitement!

Cue drumroll....

My epic 2012 New Years Resolutions

1. Run a marathon.
Unless something goes horribly wrong, this should be completed in March when I run the New Orleans Rock N Roll Marathon. So incredibly pumped about this!
2. Run a half or full marathon in at least 4 new states.
I have ran races in Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, and Oklahoma. I only have signed up for one race in 2012 (in Louisiana) and am still researching on what/where my other 3 (at least) races should be. Any suggestions?
3. Complete an outdoor triathlon.
After completing (and loving) my first indoor triathlon last year, I am determined to dabble into the sport in 2012. Triathlons kind of intimidate me, but I think I can do it!
4. Learn how to maintain my bike.
To me, this is the scariest part of a triathlon-and I am clueless about mine. Despite the fact that I have had it for 3 years, I've only taken it out a handful of times. I have no idea how to change a flat tire, and no real concept about the gears. If I want to complete Goal #3, I need to learn more about my bike!
5. Hold a 5 minute plank.
Planks = flat abs. And 5 seems like an even (and ridiculously hard) number. Fun, right?!
5. Save 20% of our income.
Josh and I did this last year and I now love the cushion in our savings account! We still don't have quite enough to buy a car (we don't want a car loan) and we are wanting to travel some, so this goal is a repeat! Three cheers for savings!
6. No sweets until our vacation in March.
My sweets intake over the past few moths have gotten out of control. My body is trained into thinking it needs sweets after every meal. This is my attempt to shock my system and get rid of my over-the-top cravings. There is no way I could do this for an entire year, but March is definitely doable.
7. Start a skin care regimen.  
While I always wash my face each night, I want to start really taking care of my skin. I mean, I do turn 26 this year and you know what that means...one year closer to 30! I better take care of my face because I'm kind of stuck with it.

Looks like this year is going to be a wonderful year. May all your dreams and resolutions come true in 2012!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Goodbye 2011

So, yea. This post was due well over a week ago, but between the holidays and my obsession with The Hunger Games Triology, I've been WAY too busy to set aside 20 minutes to blog. I wish I could blame it on spending way to much time logging miles in the 'ole Asics, but sadly I've been battling stupid non-running-related injuries which have kept me sidelined for the past few weeks. 

But alas, my holidays were splendid. They were spent with my favorite people and I was reminded how blessed I am. Kind of like this past year.

2011 was pretty amazing, to say the least.

We saw lots of snow at the beginning of the year.

A lot of time was spent with friends.

I rocked some awesome races:


 We went on a family cruise.

 Josh and I spent my birthday in Hot Springs, hiking and staying at our family's lake house.

We celebrated our 1 year anniversary!

My mom got a pool.
 And we got a puppy!

At the beginning of the year I proclaimed my love for new year resolutions and set a few for myself. Lets see how I faired...

1. Run a 5K, 10K, and half marathon; and set a new PR
Partially accomplished: I completed a 5k and a half marathon and set personal records in both. Wahoo! But I never even signed up for a 10k.

2. Save 20% of our yearly income
Done! Despite the cost of moving, we were still able to keep our savings at 20%, with $8 surplus. 

3. Take a photography class
Complete fail: Never gave this more than a second thought. 

4. Become more confident in my sewing abilities.
Between baby showers and the need to decorate my house, I consider this partially completed. I suppose you can say I am more confident in my abilities, I still have no real clue what I am doing. 

Taking this time to reflect over 2011 has me even more excited for the possibilities of this new year. Stay tuned for the epic resolutions of 2012!