Catch up

So, I’ve been absent for a little while due to a sickly husband and trying to spend lots of time with him since we were both gone for almost two weeks.  Missed him!

Only 4 weeks until the 1/2.  I’m having mixed feelings because my long run on Sunday didn’t go so well.  HOWEVER, I’m just going to keep focused and really commit to the rest of my runs.  I think I was getting a little burnt out this week and a 9 mile run wasn’t sounding too exciting.  PLUS, if I have to make excuses, it was 70 degrees and about 80% humidity.  I started to pour sweat after only a mile.  No joke.

I think when you start dreaming about running, you can officially call yourself a runner.  Preston says I move my feet a lot in my sleep…yeah, I’m running freak fast and smokin’ everyone!   I’ve avoided calling myself a runner because 1.) I’m not fast (pretty sure I can speed walk just as fast as I can run)  2.) I don’t look like a runner. Apparently I have a skewed view because ANYONE and EVERYONE can be a runner.   Seriously.  I grew up loving to play sports but I loathed running.  Like to the core.  I remember the smell of the track in the morning.  Horrible.  I threw up a little in my mouth just then.

I’m finally realizing how empowered I become whenever I allow myself to do something I never thought I would be capable of. . .and for me, running amounts over two miles is miraculous!  Running gives me confidence in myself.  Not just mentally, but physically as well.  It’s an amazing feeling to be at peace with your body.  I’m not going to change the fact that I was born to have a big ass, no matter how much I “run my butt off” and I’m okay with that. :)

Don’t be afraid to try the things you’re afraid of because most of the time you really can do it! (Note to self: read this when you begin training for a FULL marathon.  Scared. out. of. my. mind.)

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While I was away. . .

I met the cutest, most beautiful baby ever.  Miss Regan Evangeline.  My cousin, Jessica, and her husband Gabe just welcomed their first little one! I am so excited for them! And somehow it worked out to have lunch with them while I was home! Fate!

I also got to go to one of  my favorite places.  Tea bar and bites.  Alex, Laurie and I headed over for a little brunch and it made me so happy!

As you can tell, I am thoroughly enjoying my cup of Mudhouse coffee. This is by far the best picture I’ve ever taken.  You’re welcome.

More on my bday extravaganza later.

Side note: Loved spending time with the fam…miss them already.

Part 2

So, I think Part 1 was just great.  I love Jen’s perspective and I’m not lying when I say I’ve read it a few times since she has sent it over to me.  Such good reminders.  Today I am sharing with you more on the same subject but from two more ladies that I love and adore.  Once again, I hope you enjoy and are reminded that life is full of blessings in every season of life.

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Liz (no, not me) Noser is one of the funniest and genuine people I know. . .she’s such a story teller and I love her perspective on life.  Dear, dear friend. Enjoy this little posty from her!

It’s funny how what’s relevant in your life always seems to be prevalent in media and entertainment. Whether it’s the fact that you have a cold, you’ve just gone through a break up or are being trained in a new job, the imagery of your life greets you when you turn on the T.V.

Since graduating college in December, I’ve encountered characters whom are also stuck in a post grad slump on  television, in movies and among the pages of the many books I’ve had the time to read. There are certainly perks to being done with school, most notably: NO HOMEWORK. That is a godsend if I ever have seen  one. Still, there is undeniable and incomparable anxiety during this time of your life.

Right now, I live in state where I don’t know anyone, with my parents who I haven’t lived with in nearly 6 years and about to start a part time job in retail…blerg. However, I have a faith that tells me that life has its peaks and valleys. And while although I rejoice from the mountain tops that the Lord has blessed me with, I should relish in the echoes of the valley.

I have faith in the valley. Even from its flat terrain, I’ll have a great view. I won’t be able to see everything from where I’m standing, only what’s right in front of me. That’s all I need though. I could always look back at the mountain view behind me and smile (my college memories and friends are ones I will truly cherish for a lifetime). Some of the things I love the most are great illustrations of how peaks and valleys have their places.

Saturday Night Live for instance, goes through it’s waves. I mean we can all figure it will be awesome when I’m on ;) but that show sometimes just has an off skit, show or season. I still love it and it always makes a comeback. It has found an audience for 37 years now with no signs of letting up. I have faith in it. What disservice am I doing God when I don’t have faith that he would do the same in my life? I have to figure there will eventually be an incline somewhere towards the horizon.

The characters I mentioned before tend to fall into one of two categories: [ ]Optimistic or [ ]Miserable (check one). Now I’d like to point out that optimistic doesn’t mean happy and that miserable CERTAINLY doesn’t mean happy but the optimistic folks continue with forward motion. So, if I could make any recommendations for someone in a post grad slump, it would be to take this time as an opportunity to do things you’ve wanted to do and meditate on the person you want to be. Then, maybe you too could end up like Alexis Bledel in Post Grad and after a spell of being down on your luck, you could  land your dream job at that publishing firm or something equally as nice.

In my time since graduation, I have gotten a dog, started writing and illustrating a children’s book, signed up to volunteer at the local Humane Society, and for pure pleasure and something to rank me among the true badasses, I’m watching all 36 seasons of SNL staring at episode 1. We have more control than we realize. It was granted to us in the freedom of grace. As you fill your life, God will fill it too. Maybe just maybe if we do this, continue to move forward and never forget that we’re not alone, we can all get through this; I have faith that we can.

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This second post is brought to you by Miss Alex Crowder.  Being one of the most passionate people I know, I figured she would probably motivate a lot of people to keep moving and doing.  I hold her so dear to my heart and hope that her words inspire you as they did me.

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There is a vast difference between your ideas about life and your realizations about life.

After graduation I moved back in with my parents and I’ve been working as a graphic designer and photographer for my dad’s company in Springfield.

I have little idea about what to do for the rest of my life and I’m okay with it. Honestly.

I still have a million questions about life. A million. I’m learning the key is to never stop searching for answers. Answers help define oneself. Not others answers, but God’s and your own. And as obvious as it seems, the following fact has been unbelievably hard for me to learn: if you never look for the answers you’ll never find them. And it’s not always an easy search. Sometimes it takes months, even years to struggle with tough questions before you partially figure it out. Coming to a place where I’m confused enough to look for answers and patient enough to wait for them has been, for lack of a better term, weird. I’m not sure if I’ve even there yet, but I’m getting there. I’m moving forward.

When we become apathetic toward issues in our own lives we stop moving forward. We were intended to move. Movement is the common thread throughout creation, from our red blood cells coursing through our veins, to the exact speed at which the earth turns. We were created in an act of movement so we would inspire movement. Not stagnation, or a even a quiet tolerance, but movement. And I’ve found great hope in that.

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And there you have it.  Have a wonderful weekend.

Tomorrow’s my birthday.  Feel free to send me your love via the internets.  I wouldn’t hate you if you did. ;)

Valentines.

First Valentines married and it was a great one.  Preston got me a Instax Mini camera.  Technically it is my birthday present but it got here before my vday gift. I. love. it.  Now I don’t have to use my phone to make phony (check that pun out!) polaroids.  And here are the first two that I took.

He’s the best.  I can’t wait to see my family and friends in a few days.  I’m sad Preston won’t be there (he’ll be in Denver for work) for my birthday, but at least I will be around loved ones and that’s all I could ask and hope for.  SO EX-CITED! Eeeeeee!!

Part 1

So, I’ve been thinking about this post quite a bit and promised I had an exciting one coming up. . .and here it is.  Well, part one of it.

I asked a couple of wonderful ladies to talk about life after graduating college and all that it brings.  I, myself have had a hard time adjusting to a lot of change that has happened in life in such a sort period of time and it got me thinking.  I can’t be the only one.   I just think it would be nice for people to know they’re not alone in struggling to find their nitch in this big world.

This first post is from one of my best friends, Jen.  One of the wisest people I know, I am happy for you all to read a little bit about her story after graduating.  And if after reading this you want to be her friend, just let me know and I’ll hook you up.


You never realize how much the “American dream” is embedded in you until you go to college. Everyone asks, “What’s your major?” essentially meaning, “What are you going to do for the rest of your life?” You have four years to determine how the rest of your life will play out. Sound nerve-racking? Well, it was for me. I went to college with a ten-year plan: major in English, go to graduate school, become a great university professor, and travel a lot…oh yeah, and get married of course. Yep, that sounded like the ideal dream to me.

I poured my entire being into that ten year plan only to have it ripped out from under me. I may have graduated with honors, but I was rejected from every graduate school I applied to. How do you tell that to people? My fear of looking like a failure lingered long after college. I found myself asking the same question people asked me years ago: “What am I going to do for the rest of my life?”

Here I am, out of college, with two degrees and no job prospects. So the longer I thought about what to do with my life, the more I realized how wrapped up in the American dream I was. Job, money, house, children (on second thought, just a dog). I feared I would not have the perfect job, that no job could be as valuable as being a professor, and essentially, I began to fear that I would not have any money. And the list goes on.

So, it was freeing to realize that I was not alone in my after-college meltdown when I talked to Liz. She expressed the same fears. We struggled with the idea of starting a job we didn’t love or what others thought about our lives if we didn’t have that perfect job. At the same time, I was reading Shane Claiborne’s Irresistible Revolution. In Chapter 5, he says,

“I know plenty of people, both rich and poor, who are suffocating from the weight of the American dream, who find themselves heavily burdened by the lifeless toil and consumption we put upon ourselves. This is the yoke we are being freed from.”

He then goes on to say that we should stop worrying so much about our careers, about what we “do”. Instead, we should worry about who we are. So that is my advice for after college. It’s okay to love your job or your major, but it isn’t your identity. And if you don’t get that perfect job, then it’s okay, because it does not define who you are. Unlike the popular American myth, you can enjoy life without having the perfect career. Hopefully that is as freeing for others as it was for me. :)

Part one.  What do you think?  I hope you come away encouraged that even if life takes a different course, that it’s meant to be beautiful and full of joy.

These are some pictures of Preston and I on snow day two or three.  I can’t remember, but trust me, they aren’t super interesting.  Also, I have no idea how to edit a photo,  I just do what looks good to my untrained eye.  We’ve been really bad about taking pictures since we have moved so I am trying to get in the habit of taking more.   Preston is heading out of town this week and now I am really treasuring those couple of days we were “snowed in” together. :o)

The treadmill and I had a long date on Sunday before the Super Bowl.  It was semi-fun.  6 miles and about 2 gallons of sweat.  I’m really proud of myself.  Sometimes I think we avoid saying that because we think we’ll sound arrogant… but I say this from a very humble place.  Knowing I am by no means a runner, finishing those 6 miles allowed me to achieve that so-called “runner’s high” and I realized that our mind can either be our biggest enemy or fan.   I talked to myself through the entire run. “Liz, you can do it. You’ve ran this much before.  Don’t stop.  Keep going. Push through.”  Seriously.  I’m just glad no one can hear my thoughts. Fake it till you make it.  And I did.

On to week 6. Half way there.

My birthday is coming up and I’m really excited.

Fun Fact

I hate having to come up with a title for every post.  When I was in school, it was my least favorite part about writing a paper and I always saved it for last.  That’s not really a fun fact, but it’s a fact about me you now know and should hold dear to your heart.

I have an exciting post coming up soon.  I think you will like it.  I’m featuring some words of wisdom from some great people.

Preston and I have been MIA from work this week due to the abnormally cold temps in Texas.  There’s about an inch of ice out there and crazy power outages. Work has been canceled 3 days in a row for the both of us.  It’s been super nice to be lazy with my honey.  I made chicken n’ dumplings and cinnamon raisin bread yesterday.  YUM.

I kind of wish we had snow.  Missouri got about a foot of snow.  I would love to be trapped with some of my friends and family.  This is the most snow they have had since 1912.

Proof of how quickly the weather changes around here. Saturday was almost 80 degrees and today we are going to have the coldest temps TX has seen in 20 years.  Glad I had the window and door open all day Saturday. . .

Saturday. Window open. Sunny and 75 degrees.

So many crazy world happenings right now.  We should all remember to pray for our friends around the globe.

I ran 4 miles yesterday.  On the treadmill.  It was brutal.  I admire those who can run for days on a treadmill, but that is not me.   I tried to imagine myself running through the woods (Twilight style), but that only lasted for about a mile.  I am nearly done with 5 weeks of training and feeling stronger.  My lungs always feel so big after I am done running.  I love that feeling.

What are some of your favorite things to make/eat on bitterly cold days?