Fellow Pavement Pounders

Remember how I told you that when I trained for my last marathon that I wouldn’t go through that training solo again?  I wrote about it here.

I can’t tell you how incredibly excited I am about my new running group.  SERIOUSLY. I look forward to Tuesday Night Track, Thursday Night Fun Runs with the Joggers and Lagers, and, of course, my M2 S2F (Start to Finish) fellow long-run partners on Saturday mornings. This group provides motivation, accountability, and absolutely unbelievable support.  I even rejoined Facebook, but only to be a member of this group!

This group high-5’s you even if your hands are sweaty from a run. They don’t mind how bad you smell from running in 90+ degrees weather on a hot July evening and then sitting down for a drink at a local brewhouse. They don’t care if your running clothes don’t match or if your shorts look like you’ve wet your pants from sweating.  This group praises your abilities (or sometimes inabilities, depending on the day!) of just getting out there and running and doing your best. They wonder where you are if you don’t show up to training. If you drop back to take pictures or are having hydration issues, they drop back with you to be sure that you’re okay and safe. We’re training together for a common goal, to complete the Prairie Fire Marathon in October. We are growing stronger with each run, not only with our bodies, but building relationships with fellow pavement pounders who are just as crazy about running.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.  

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Day 1 Time Trial Marathon Group – June 11. Photo by Karlee from Fleet Feet Wichita

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A Summer of BTMs!

BTM = Book Talk Meetings! Not be confused on what we actually call our school (not in a derogatory way, mind you. They actually represent the initials of our school!)

Our librarian is absolutely FABULOUS. This summer she asked the staff of our school if we were interested in participating in a summer book club. There were 14 staff members/teaching friends that were so she got 30 copies of the 11 titles on the William Allen White list for grades 3-5 for the 2015-16 school year for us to read. Woo hoo! Free reading books!  Our directions were as follows:  “Please read one or more of the titles on the Master List to discuss at each meeting you attend.  We can exchange books so as many of us as possible can read as many titles as possible.  Bring any notes you may have on the book or any teaching ideas that come to mind as you read.  I will have copies of reading slips for you to complete as well so we can display those around the library and start motivating kids to read these books as well.” Sounded simple enough!

The official list bookmark the student's received this Fall.

The official list bookmark the student’s received this Fall.

I did my reading faithfully, and read 7 of the 11 titles. I missed the first meeting due to my race in Frisco, CO but I couldn’t wait for the next one.  It was a very warm summer afternoon and I took a sweater just in case the AC was too chilly.  I shouldn’t have bothered. When I arrived, I learned that their air conditioning was broken!  Nothing a cold one couldn’t fix . . .

My

My “cold one” with a few titles up for grabs for our reading club.

So, which titles did I read?  My interest was definitely piqued by the title The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech.  It was very well written but it wasn’t what I thought and I was disappointed by the ending.  Another novel was next: Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes.  I really enjoyed this one and I was seeing a common theme of stories in the South.  Maybe it was just a coincidence with the first two titles. #3? White Fur Flying by Patricia MacLachlan.  A good story about dogs that the younger grades would enjoy. A couple of fast reads: A Splash of Red by Jen Bryant and Mary Walker Wears the Pants by Cheryl Harness.  My last book to read was a picture book called Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore.   My favorite book had to be Gingersnap by Patricia Reilly Giff. The story was set in 1944 during World War II where the main character left town to find a family member and went on an incredible journey.  It was a refreshing story and, although appropriate, didn’t seem to be a child’s book.

Unfortunately, I only made it to a couple of the meetings due to conflicts or being out of town.  I had every intention of making it to the last one but missed the email with the time change. Me, being the loser here, went too early and ended up going home and taking my oldest son out to dinner instead. Maybe that was meant to be instead of intellectual book discussion.

Such a fabulous idea for the summer with promise of continuing this school year and starting a new list for next year.  I, for one, will definitely be doing it again with the hopes of being able to make it to more meetings.  And maybe next time I should check my school email more frequently around book club time!

Ms. Independent

My significant other used to complain that I wouldn’t “relax” on the weekends. I usually have a to-do list a mile long and I actually enjoy accomplishing these things and marking things off my list. Since I’m the one that enjoys doing this, it also means that I’m usually doing this on my own. Hmm, Ms. Independent!  Well, this weekend was no exception. And even better? It was a three-day weekend due to a Conference Release Day! Too bad my body didn’t know how to actually sleep in on days that my alarm wasn’t going to be going off!

Friday consisted of an orthodontist appointment for my son, prepping for a painting job in my daughter’s room , a quick run on the treadmill at the Y (thanks to the thunderstorms in the area), cleaning the basement, prepping my vegetable garden (after the rain), and helping weed the front flower bed in our neighborhood before heading out for a night with my favorite girlfriends.

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Saturday – WOW – it was a go, go, go day. I started early finishing the prep work on my daughter’s room and painting. I hadn’t anticipated it taking as long as it did but it required 2 coats and moving the loft bed back and forth and back and forth wasn’t easy. And the high ceilings meant up and down, up and down the ladder. No wonder I’m sore this morning! Not to worry, though, I still had time to do some shopping with my mother at Gordman’s, attend church, have dinner at Doc Green’s, clean the kids’ bathrooms, and yes, even though it was late, added new knobs to my bathroom cabinets.  I might add that I am so proud of myself using the drill and not screwing things up! I now do all of these jobs on my own and I’m learning so much.  Now I can say that I am no longer afraid of this tool!

I'm so happy with the way these knobs look! Good deal, too, $8.08 on clearance for a 10-pack from Target, with an additional 5% off for using my Red Card. Score!

I’m so happy with the way these knobs look! Good deal, too, $8.08 on clearance for a 10-pack from Target, with an additional 5% off for using my Red Card. Score!

Sunday was a catch up day to somewhat relax considering how sore I was but I still started a new cross stitch ornament, made some cookies, and ran 8 1/2 miles. (It should have been 11 miles but shhhhh, I struggled and *gasp* even walked a bit! I had to listen to my body, though, and let it go. After all, next week is another week of training.) The rest of the day has been kind of blah as I’m quite tired so I’m going to finish my day flipping through some magazines, sipping my hot green tea, and putting my feet up. Not to worry, though, as I can still feel that sense of accomplishment by checking off the items on my to do list! 😉

It All Came Crashing Down

Yes, I AM a fighter!

Yes, I AM a fighter!

The weekend following my first full marathon and my last blog entry, my life as I knew it came crashing down. It wasn’t something I had envisioned happening EVER. I was blindsided and the emotional roller coaster I have been enduring since October 19th has been no less than brutal. But I’m not one to quit anything I’ve started. Never have been and never will be. Unfortunately I wasn’t the only one that had a say in the matter.

So true.

So true.

I have been adjusting to a different way of life with my focus on my precious Lord and Savior and an incredible support system of the best family and friends a woman could ever hope, not to mention my wonderful children and fur babies. I’m making my life simpler – by canceling my Facebook account, limiting who are my true “friends” are on other social media (I love the pics that people post on Instagram), decluttering and (hoping) to do better at not being so materialistic – and finding new inspiration or building on what truly matters (quality time with my children & finding time to do what I enjoy like home improvement, crafts, reading, for example). I had thought about taking down my blog but decided on a hiatus instead. That and I enjoy going back and looking through my posts. Maybe someone else out there may like them. If not, I’ll enjoy this little bit of selfishness 😉

One of my many favorite Bible verses that helps keep me going in this crazy place of a world.

One of my many favorite Bible verses that helps keep me going in this crazy place of a world.

Oh, and P.S. I prefer not to be too personal in this blog post so I have not divulged any specifics. Please don’t ask. Feel free to infer if you must, just know that I’m human and doing my best to cope in this new life that was not of my choosing. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you manage it the best way that you know how. This is my way of handling it. Oh, and I’m covered with meds & counseling, thanks 😉

A Little Paper, Pencil and Paint

I have 3 doors in my kitchen area that apparently seem to confuse some of our family and guests. Particularly if they’re trying to exit our house from said kitchen. I do find this quite comical as we’ve lived in this particular house nearly 12 years and all 3 of these doors have ALWAYS been there. It’s funny to watch one of my daughter’s friends open the pantry on her way to the garage. Whoops!
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When I recently rediscovered Pinterest, I noticed that I had pinned a couple of different methods of making signs of some sort to help out lost bodies in our home. This was one of them:

An example of one of the pins I had "liked". https://www.pinterest.com/pin/236861261628846964/

An example of one of the pins I had “liked”. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/236861261628846964/

I decided to give it a go. After all, if I didn’t like it, that’s what they have primer and white paint for, right?

I started with finding the right font that I liked. I think this was the hardest part although my daughter helped me narrow it down and then we stuck them on the door to see which one we liked the best. I honestly don’t even recall the font name that we ended up with!

I followed the directions on the blog by using my pencil and coloring the BACK side of the letters, attaching it to the door, and tracing around it. Then I filled it in with an extra sharp black Sharpie and followed up with black acrylic paint. I was not okay with the lack of my steady hand but I’m actually going to blame that on the texture of the door. Blame doesn’t make it look better, though, so I went over it again and again with a stiffer brush and my Sharpie again until I liked the overall result.

My font taped and ready for door #1! (This one was chosen as it wasn't the one I could see all of the time from the kitchen like the pantry one would have been!

My font taped and ready for door #1! (This one was chosen as it wasn’t the one I could see all of the time from the kitchen like the pantry one would have been!

Hey! It actually works!

Hey! It actually works!

All traced in and now ready to paint.

All traced in and now ready to paint.

All done! Now onto the next one.

All done! Now onto the next one.

Other than time a few pieces of tape and the ink from the printer, my one true expense was the bottle of paint from Michaels, which came to about $0.73 with tax. I had everything else! A very inexpensive change that I love!

And as long as our guests/family can read, they should be able to find the exit to the garage now through the kitchen :)

Where Did Spring Break Go?

Here it is a Saturday after having an entire week off for spring break and I can’t help but wonder, where did the time go?  I was really looking forward to the time off from teaching. The time change threw me for a loop and we’re getting ready for state testing which is stressful enough so a full week off was very much welcomed.

I always have a to-do list going for time off and I did get quite a bit done. I was extremely unmotivated to workout this week so it was a good thing it was an “easy” week, per Hal Higdon’s training schedule. I managed to log a few miles outdoors as well as at the Y. I also sold some things to Book-A-Holic, Play It Again Sports and Trendy Tots as well as sorted through some more stuff for the garage sale. I painted the primer coat of paint on the Adirondack chairs but have yet to paint them (couldn’t find the paint!). I cleaned out the flower beds, weeded my veggie garden and raked leaves.  I took the kids ice skating, too, (Tuesdays are $2 days!) as well as visiting with my parents and taking Buddy for play dates with Lillie, their Lab. Oh, and we saw a cool Cops vs. Fire and Thunder hockey games.

We usually go to Keystone over spring break but I was so fed up of the winter weather that the thought of seeing shoulder-high snow drifts just did not appeal to me. I wanted to work out in the yard and see some greenery for a change! So we stayed home, piddled around and took a day trip to OK to see some friends. This was probably, by far, my favorite day of spring break!  We went to Pops, hiked a part of Arcadia Lake, lunch at Flatire Burgers (yuuuuummmmy!), bowling, and then headed to the park before we headed home to watch the Shocker basketball game (Go Shockers! They won!) Maybe I should have planned more little outings like that. Oh well. We had fun anyway!

Our children have been friends their entire lives! Owen, Wesley, Harrison, Taylor, Audrey & Jocelyn at the Round Barn in Arcadia, OK.

Our children have been friends their entire lives! Owen, Wesley, Harrison, Taylor, Audrey & Jocelyn at the Round Barn in Arcadia, OK.

Silly girls! They wanted their picture taken by this "dead" bush (there were blooms on it, you just can't see them here.)

Silly girls! They wanted their picture taken by this “dead” bush (there were blooms on it, you just can’t see them here.)

Malena and I by the Round Barn. Love her! We always have such fun when we get together!

Malena and I by the Round Barn. Love her! We always have such fun when we get together!

Owen and Wesley at Arcadia Lake.

Owen and Wesley at Arcadia Lake.

Taylor and Harrison at Arcadia Lake.

Taylor and Harrison at Arcadia Lake.

Me and my girl. Love her!

Me and my girl. Love her!

Malena and I at Arcadia Lake. It was very windy!

Malena and I at Arcadia Lake. It was very windy!