Monday, January 31, 2011

A Marathon Finish Line is Not for the Faint of Heart

Things I learned at Chevron Houston Marathon finish line:

People have all kinds of reactions to finishing a marathon.
some are elated.
some become comedians.
some are only looking for water.
some demand their medal.
(it's an honor to give it to them, they earned it!)
some kiss their medal.
some weep.
some are rushed by on gurneys.
some are disappointed.
some friends give you hugs.
some perfect strangers give you hugs.
one perfect stranger wanted a kiss.
he got a hug.
some are simply dazed.

They aren't kidding when they tell you about how bodies react to running that far.
I had fun working with Stacey (crazy coincidence that we arrived at exactly the same time and in side by side parking spots in such a HUGE event) and getting to know Christina!
I saw all the runners I was expecting to see:  Phil, Susie, Pete, and Katie from work.  John, Joshua, and Jonathan from Living Water.
plus I saw a couple of people I wasn't expecting to see:  Marc & Tina from work.

Way to go, y'all!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spotlight Saturday: Dawnua

In case you missed it, what's {Spotlight Saturday} ?

Meet my beautiful friend, Dawnua

Dawnua is probably my oldest (that seems like the wrong word... she's a little younger than me and WE are far from old!) longest friend in the world.  We met at Pioneer Girls' Camp NeKaMo (Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri) way back in the day.  I think it was around third grade.  We became close through the painting class we took from her mom at camp.  It certainly didn't hurt that we looked so much alike and had similar names.  We claimed "sisters" and pushed the envelope to "twins" pretty quickly and have been friends ever since!

Dawnua is one of the most genuine people I know.  I believe that when people are cut open by the trials and struggles of life, they bleed who they really are.  I've watched Dawnua endure so much and I've seen her bleed kindness, integrity, goodness, joy, faithfulness, and hope.  She's real about the pain or the frustrations, but what overflows out of her heart is gold.

I'm so inspired by her strength and perseverance!  She handles so much with grace and humor.  Dawnua loves her family much and it shows.  She's wife to Scott, who is currently fighting Lyme Disease.  She's super fun bonus mom (her awesome alternative name to stepmom!) to four precious kids.

Don't they look like a fun-loving bunch of angels?
{photo credit to Dawnua}

Her mom, Mary Ann, has had some very serious heart problems over the last couple of years.  Her dad passed away almost fourteen years ago, so Dawnua has faithfully cared for her {mom's health}.

Dawnua is super creative!  She's a great photographer and artist.  Her trade is graphic design, but she's 13 months between opportunities.  I know she's terribly frustrated and would certainly appreciate your prayer for her career.  In the meantime, I'm amazed by the clever and inexpensive fun things she does with her family.  Their family New Years party was simply brilliant!  She's also adventurous and industrious.  They owned their own coffee shop.  She'd take her family out {geocaching}.  If you geocache, their family name is RockChalkGeoHawk.  They've been renovating the loft that the live in... I would totally love to see it!

If you're looking for a new blog header, she does {custom blog headers}, too (and for a great cause).  There's not much that she can't do!

I'm truly amazed by you, Dawnua.  I was choked up most of the time writing this blog.  You are gold and I'm honored to call you my friend and my "sis".  I'm taking a few minutes today to ask God to shower you and your family with abundant blessings this year.  I love ya, sis!

{Spotlight Saturdays Archive}

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday is the New Friday!

Even if I have to work on Friday, somehow the weekend kicks off on Thursday in my mind.  Maybe it's the fact that I can select jeans to wear to work.  Fridays are casual Fridays around here, this week I kicked it up a notch and added flip flops.  The reason for the flip flops is that my foot is hurting and comfort is king this morning!

So, here's the weekend rundown:
  • Thursday- went out for fajitas with a friend.  I just love that girl!
  • Friday {Fitness Friday}.  date night.  He planned.  I think that's cute.
  • Saturday - {Spotlight Saturday}.  7 mile run.  test out my {new waffle maker}.  two birthday parties.  evening at home-pajama jump?  movie night?  game night?  friends visit?
  • Sunday - medals at the marathon.  rest.  yoga & RENEW.

Fitness Friday: 9ish weeks til Race Day

Just because..this was in the Houston Chronicle last year.  Thought y'all might get a kick out of yours truly running the Aramco Half Marathon last year.  In case you're wondering why the bright yellow shirt, it was because I was running for {Living Water International}.
{photo by Karen Warren-Houston Chronicle}

Saturday - Scheduled: 6 mile run
Completed and felt pretty good about it!  Pretty sleepy and hungry the rest of the day, though.  You might enjoy this little tidbit.  My arms and chest were so sore from my workout Friday that every step for the first mile was so painful.  I'm feeling like, "ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow ow, ow."  After the first mile, I was probably numb enough that it quit bothering me.
Sunday - Scheduled: 3 mile run
During the tiny little window of time I allowed for running, I instead snuggled up to Jeremy on the couch and took a nap.  And I'm totally fine with it.

Monday - Scheduled:  Stretch & Strengthen
Excuses:  bad, rainy day + Target trip + dinner + talked with Jeremy about his bad day + bed by 8:30.  Maybe Tuesday!

Tuesday - Scheduled:  3.5 mile run
Took the kids out to the school track and calibrated my Nike+.  Not a fan of calibration results.

Wednesday - Scheduled: 35 minute tempo run
Chaos and no run.

Thursday - Scheduled:  Rest
Dinner with a friend.  Check!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dangerous People

"There are dreamers, but not all human beings dream equally.  Some are dreamers of the night, who in the dusty recesses of their mind dream and wake in the morning to find it was just vanity.  But the Dreamers of the Day are dangerous people because they act their dreams into reality with open eyes." ~T.E. Lawrence

Turns out that some of the biggest businessmen, the likes of da Vinci and Walt Disney, Beethoven and Albert Einstein were avid daydreamers in their respective areas of success.  Looks like I won't be stifling my inner daydreamer anymore!  She has big, dangerous, risky, exciting plans welling up, anyways.

Are you a daydreamer?  What would you do if you could do anything?

How fun is this?!?

My friend, Meredith, is hosting a {Nail Polish Swap} over at her blog.  You don't have to be a blogger to play along!  All you really have to do is have an address and be able to buy and ship a bottle of OPI Nail Polish by next Friday AND sign up.  I'm playing... and I thought maybe some of my readers would like to join in.  If you do sign up, let Meredith know I sent ya.  ;)

{This collection} is causing quite a stir, at least down here in the Lone Star State, we're diggin' it!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's a matter of perspective

This is a weird picture.  I know.  But it kinda sums up my day.
I remember looking in the mirror and fussing and fidgeting and being rather discontent in general at that moment.  That's kinda how my day has been... at least from my perspective.

Jeremy snapped this picture of me.  I'm pretty sure I didn't realize he had.  From this perspective, the main problem is not me, it's my perception of me and how I've let it affect me.  So, if you'll indulge me for a sec while I step back....

Dear Dana,
A few friendly reminders:
Hitting the "off" button on the alarm instead of the "snooze" button isn't grounds for the inner altercation you allowed this morning.

Whether your receive recognition from above at work or not, you have a lot to offer.  Find some motivation and start giving it!  You'll be glad you did.

Those concerns in your heart... maybe God allowed them.  They make you you!  And maybe they are there for you to do what you have been shaped to do.  So be open to them.

Today looks better from over here.  And Tomorrow's a new day.  Sleep well.  You've got this!
~The Management

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Golden Hour (Updated)

This morning as I'm walking from my car to the commuter bus, I was shaking my head about where the time goes in the morning.  I mean, I'm sure I could account for each of the minutes I spent getting up and ready.  But you don't really need to know how all this happens.

The point of what I'm trying to say is more about what doesn't happen.

Back to the bus, so my brain is engaged with... how do I make my mornings more efficient and less, well, LATE?  So, I pop open my Kindle App on my iPhone and pick up where I drifted off last night in my current read.
It wasn't long before the author, Dan Miller, started talking about how he spends, what he calls, The Golden Hour, which is the first hour of your day.  Basically, the idea is that what you do during that hour sets the tone for the whole day.

(Dear Dan, You had me at "Be very careful how you start your morning.")

He gave a negative example, then discussed briefly what he does and why he does it.  Again, a summary so you can follow my train of thought:  A) he gets a good night's sleep (which is something else I've been meaning to talk to you about!)  B) he does meditative and devotional reading for 30 minutes and C) he exercises and listens to inspirational material/books while he does it.  He is intentional about making sure all of the input during that hour is positive, creative, and inspirational.

My thoughts completely transformed.  Now, I see the problem!  It is less about being inefficient and more about setting a poor tone for my day.  So, what's on my mind today is how can I better spend that hour (as awful as 4:30am is!)?  What will I fill my mind, heart and body with first thing?  I don't have any answers yet.

So, the plan (now that I know what the real problem is!) is to get some wise input, figure out some alternatives, pick one, and run with it.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Update:  Let's kick this up a notch...  What goes into your Hall of Fame for best (or worst) Golden Hours?

Yesterday ranked in the Worst Hall of Fame.  The plumbing in the whole house backed up.  There were water and soaked towels and tears and yelling and hugging and apologizing and problem-solving and relief (that I could still make my coffee!), way too much action for The Golden Hour and probably a pretty good explanation for why I felt so miserable all day!

Got my craft on AND lived to tell about it.

A long time ago in a far away land, I told you I was making some clipboards for our {Routines and Chore Charts}.  Well, I did!  I found this awesome {Rockstar Scrapbook paper} that suited our whole family. 
Lexi is quite troubled that her "E" is a "3"

Here is how they look hanging in our laundry room....

and we are all working on making the routines, well, ROUTINE!

Quick grown-up birthday idea:
I pulled together a little get-together for a girlfriend's 29th birthday with a mini-theme of mini pennants.  I truly didn't go as all out as I could have, which is good for me!  I used {evite template} for the invitation.
I grabbed these {printable pennants from Team Awesome}.  The original thought was to top a cake with them like {this adorable cake from Design Sponge}, but the restaurant location was a bit restrictive for that idea, so I simply attached them to the end of the table using wooden dowels and tape (gasp!).

{This} idea from Embellishing Life would have made a darling centerpiece!

Here's a snapshot of the birthday card I made her...
It's cardstock, Sharpie, scrapbook paper and rub on numbers.

And I still keep hoping to get to {this} soon!

Spoiler Alert:  Do NOT scroll down if you are Stephani, Jill, Ryan, or Chris!
P.S.  I will get to the post office this week.  Somehow.

I adore {this idea} from Erin at Lemon Tree Creations.  And since our family is so scattered through the country, I decided to make a set for each my nephews!

When I told Marcia about this idea, she got started on a set for her darling niece for Christmas right away.  He she is with her niece on Christmas day...
Cutie patootie!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What I'm looking forward to today (Updated)

New sermon series at church, "Coachable"
{Pie Day} & {MMM Cupcakes} (they sold out! again.) with my family
A short run  Snuggle up to Jeremy on the couch and nap
Day Three of 48 Days
RENEW at church & we're making dinner there!
My new bedtime Chatting with Marcia

Updated with how the day actually went

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Spotlight Saturday: Ambre

In case you missed it, what's {Spotlight Saturday} ?

Meet my beautiful friend, Ambre

I haven't known Ambre for a long time.  In fact, the way we met is kind of funny!  She was hosting our small group.  I was new and completely wrong about what time it started.  I was off by an hour and arrived thinking that I was already thirty minutes late.  So there I am, knocking on a stranger's door with my kids in-tow a full thirty minutes early... which, by the way, is not my normal style.  I'm usually right-on-time-if-I'm-lucky or just-slightly-late.  Ambre and her hubby, Chuck, were so sweet to me.  She's definitely hospitable!

Ambre is quick to offer a practical way to help in whatever the circumstance!  So many times, I've thought... wow.  That's so nice of her.

Right now, I'm seeing her strength. Chuck is serving in the military overseas for six months.  (Thanks, Chuck!)  I know it's not easy for her to be home by herself with her darling babies for this long.  She's facing the challenges and growing.  I hope to be the kind of practical and emotional support to her during this time that she is to me.  And, speaking of Chuck, Ambre just exudes honor and admiration for her husband.  I think I've grown in that area because of her example to me.

Oh!  One more thing... her house is just adorable.  One of the things I love about it is that she has decorated with scripture here and there.  It's so warm, peaceful and inspiring.  Hmmm, a perfect reflection of the kind of person she is! 

{Spotlight Saturdays Archive}

It's not all about me

I just read a very sweet and encouraging Facebook message from my friend, Karen.  She was writing to tell me how she's been inspired by my ramblings on this blog.  (Okay, she didn't say "ramblings".  She's much nicer than that.)  Funny thing is, her note sparked me.  You see, I had this little idea in my head... and Karen's kind words nudged the idea into the "must do" category.  So, here goes!

It's not all about me.

Really, it isn't.  I have some seriously amazing and inspiring friends.  At least, I'm amazed and inspired by them.  Maybe they'll inspire you, too, but not if I don't tell you about them!  So, the idea was born:

Spotlight Saturdays

I'd like to take the opportunity, once a week, to tell you about the people in my life who challenge, encourage, and inspire me.  Is that cool with you?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fitness Friday: 10ish weeks til Race Day

Saturday - Scheduled: 5K race pace.
I ran about 3.5 miles while out-of-town at my dad's house.  The run felt pretty good, but I learned that I must wear my knee strap now and that my iPhone better have a really good charge before I head out.  The joy of getting older wiser!

Sunday - Scheduled: Rest
Well, I didn't run, as scheduled, but I felt like I was "running" all day with {wedding} coordinating!  (Except when I kept tripping in my running shoes.  Who knew those things weren't made for walking?  I do better in heels.  Weird.)

Monday - Scheduled:  Stretch & Strengthen
Nope.  We drove back from Dallas and spent the day getting prepared for the week ahead.  My house feels awesome, though.

Tuesday - Scheduled:  3.5 mile run
I'll spare you the excuses and just tell you I switched this workout to Friday.

Wednesday - Scheduled: 6 x 400 meters (Speed training)
My motivation kicked back in and I got this done.  I really pushed myself pace-wise.  A deceptively long mile and a half, though!

Thursday - Scheduled:  Rest
Shuffled the "Rest" to Tuesday and traded Tuesday's 3.5 mile run.  I did 3 miles before work on the treadmill.  It was what I'd call a "tough" run.  Some runs you feel awesome, some you don't.  I spent the entire morning famished and my left foot was really hurting afterwards.

Friday - Scheduled: 3 mile run + strength
Great workout!  I did a core strength training workout and arms in our garage gym with Jeremy.  I decided that I'd go for the 3.5 I meant to run yesterday, but ran out of time motivation.  Justus is planning on running in a fun run for his school (well, actually I am, too), so he asked if he could run with me.  I knew he couldn't make the distance I needed to go, so I suggested he run the first half mile with me.  He did, then Jeremy picked him up and they went to get Lex at school while I finished three more miles that felt AWESOME!  I hope tomorrow's six mile run feels that good.

Accountability.  A beautiful thing!  Now that I know y'all might be looking over my shoulder... I'm a bit more motivated to get out there.  haha!  Soon enough, I'll get back to doing it for me cause I feel better when I do.  We're not there yet.  P.S. I had an idea that I'm super excited about!  Lace up your tennis shoes and watch for the announcement.

Linked up to this blogger "slumber party"... just for fun

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fitness: Speedwork is...

So, as I've mentioned  before, I'm training for the

When it comes to training for an upcoming race, I like to use good ol' {Hal Higdon} as my virtual coach.  His basic training programs are free and easy to follow.  I take the prescribed workouts, juggle them with my schedule (good ol' Hal says it's totally legit), and put them on my {iCal}.  But just like a real life coach, sometimes you hate 'em.  Not for who they are, but for what they make you do.  He doesn't mind, cause A) it's good for me and B) he's just a virtual coach.

Case in point:  Speedwork

Speedwork is hard.
Speedwork hurts.
Speedwork makes sense.
(maybe that's why it's annoying.)
Speedwork is deceptive.
(you think, oh, I only have to run a mile and a half today, but really, you end up putting out the same effort as 3+.  go figure.)

This is speedwork in good ol' Hal's words:

Speedwork: If you want to run at a fast pace, you need to train at a fast pace several days a week.  This training schedule for Intermediate runners alternates interval running with Tempo Runs.  An interval workout usually consists of fast repeats separated by walking or jogging.  The program begins with 5 x 400 meters the first week and adds one more 400 every other week to reach 10 x 400 meters the week before your half marathon.  Walk or jog between each repeat.  The best place to run 400-meter repeats is on a track, although you can also use an accurately-measured road course.  Run the 400s at about your pace for 5-K, or 10-K.  For more information on speed training, see my book, Run Fast.

As long as I'm on the subject, let's plan on doing a training check in on Fridays.  We'll call it Fitness Fridays.  I'll let you know how it went this week and you'll say "great work" or "get your butt out there, guuuuurrrrlll!"  Deal?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

As promised (and at long last!), wedding pictures!

Preface:  I would hate for this opportunity to pass me by without saying a few words about Marcia:

Marcia is a true, true friend.  She's genuine, thoughtful, and full of grace.  She has a great sense of humor and knows discretion.  She's highly motivated and very impressive in what she accomplishes!  She has been right there with me through some of my worst days.  And I'm so very grateful.  She speaks truth, both when it's hard to hear and a relief to hear.  She's simply an amazing friend.  So, I was very honored when she asked me to help coordinate her wedding even though I live five hours away!  It was a joy to be able to help make her wedding day everything she dreamed it would be.

And now, speaking of the wedding day, let's get on with the pictures!

Wedding Day hair and makeup

Purple pajamas and purple crocs.  Cuteness.  Marcia's favorite color is purple.  I used to hate the color, but it's growing on me.  In fact, I wore purple Saturday and Sunday just for her!  (and I even kinda liked it.)

The gap in photos is because I was busy doing "coordinating things".  I finally remembered my camera was waiting for me during the reception.
Mr. and Mrs. (yay!  happiness!)

Cupcake tower with the top layer as a real cake for the bride and groom to cut.  Take your pick:  Vanilla, Vanilla with Raspberry, or Red Velvet!
Thought you might enjoy a close up of the {grooms's gift} in action!

I'm kinda bummed that I didn't get photos of all the wonderful food.  It was soooo creative and simple!  So, allow me to describe... huge glass jars filled with various flavors of popcorn, everything from White Cheddar to Spicy Jalepeno to Confetti, which was all different flavors and colors of candied popcorn.  Totally fun!  The most ginormous Edible Arrangment I have ever seen... chocolate covered strawberries and bananas, oh my!  Deli trays and veggie trays.  Delicous and healthy!  And a table full of the most delectible pies.  I think I was still raving about the Blackberry Pie on the way back to Houston the next day!

Some of Marcia's friends from school... "hey, Regina!  It was great to meet you!"

I simply adore this picture!  She looks like she's having such a wonderful time!


Marcia and me

First dance to "Then" by Brad Paisley

Father and daughter dance to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."  Adorable.  He would sing and she would sing backup when she was a toddler.

A kiss from my handyman.

A little silliness.  Because we are a little silly.

A few words about Matt:  I don't know him well, but I know that he's kind, steady, and supportive.  He brings out the "even more amazing" in Marcia.  I know he loves Marcia and that she's crazy about him!

Matt & Marcia, best wishes for a life together that is overflowing with love, fun, friends, and faith!

...and just in case you were wondering about {the dress}.

I trusted the majority...

and the majority ruled!

I love democracy.

Thank you so much for voting!  There were so many great {dresses} to choose from for {the wedding}.  Your dress {pick}caused me to step a little outside of my norm, which was great!  I received tons of compliments on it.  It was fun to tell people the story of how you helped me select the dress.  Thanks again!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A few rehearsal pics

The radiant bride!  My true friend, Marcia!

 Rehearsing the recessional, grins and all!

 Bride and groom

 Cutest flowergirl ever!

Me, wedding coordinator

Rehearsal Dinner-A delicious spread from Chuy's... yum!
 Groomsman gifts wrapped in fun zebra paper
 Cute and clever daytime centerpieces

 Bridesmaid gifts and place settings... loved the colors!

Groom's gift was a custom-made cake topper set of Mario and Princess.  He loved it!