Category Archives: Random thoughts

A day for reflection

As the daughter and granddaughter of Veterans, I am very proud to recognize and honor this day.

My dad was a Marine – he left college his junior year to enlist in the United States Marine Corps as the Vietnam War was underway.  He served in the Marines and took after his dad, my Grandad, who was a career Marine, a pilot.  My Uncle Paul served in the Air Force, my cousin Allen served in the Marines.  My mom’s dad served in the Army and fought hard for this country.  I am so blessed to have known so many amazing Veterans.

I often think about the challenges that I have in my daily life – studying, fitting in one more paper, what I’ll cook for dinner, how frustrating it is to let the dogs out 1000 times a day… My daily challenges are nothing compared to the daily challenges of our active military men and women.  These people are fighting so that we can take for granted (ok, not everyone does) the freedom that we have in this country.

I found this website circulating around today on Facebook and I couldn’t avoid posting it.  I cried, smiled, and cried some more.  Take some time to enjoy, reflect, and say a prayer for all of the active, retired, and deceased members of our military.

The Real Veteran’s Day

Thank you to all who serve.

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My dad and uncle outside of their home on base. (1949?)

My Dad - Marine Veteran

My dad – Semper Fidelis

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What’s your style?

Learning style – the PhD topic of the day. 

I am now in 19th grade, scary to think about.  I completed high school, obtained my bachelor’s degree, my master’s degree and I am currently pursuing my PhD.  I think this categorizes me as a life long educational learner.

The one thing I am always working on is how to study/learn.  You’d think I’d have this down pat in 19th grade… but I don’t.

I know that I am a hands-on learner and a visual learner.  I am best at studying when I can write, rewrite, and write something again.  Things don’t stick the first time around.  I need time to think, apply, think more, and write it down!!

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The hardest part about being this kind of learner is that life is changing.  Technology is taking over the world.  I have textbooks on my Kindle, all my class powerpoints are posted online, and I try to use electronic note taking programs, like Evernote.

2013-09-23 17.13.04 evernote

Yet, there’s just something about writing things down – it’s just how I learn.  So, yes, I am that person in class, with an adorable, giant, colorful 4 subject notebook frantically scribbling down every word my professor says.  But, that’s okay.  I think it’ll be a slow process before I am able to move to technology for all my notes.  I did change from a planner to an online planner! That’s a big step! 🙂

While training for my last half marathon, this is how I had to study.  Did I mention I had a knee injury? That sucked.  Additionally, it’s pretty hard to train for a half, keep the house together, take 3 doctoral classes, and have 4 part time jobs (yes, you read that right, and that’s a story for a different day).

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I don’t study well this way.  Some people are able to stay up late at night, reading in bed.  Nope, not me. I fall RIGHT asleep.  But I usually bring a textbook in, for wishful thinking.  I really think I need to start sleeping with a book under my pillow. Especially this statistics book, woof.

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This picture usually represents how I study…. with a dog in my lap, while working on statistics, and in a Skype study group.  This is my life.

These girls are typically really good when I am doing work, but as soon as I get talking to someone on the phone or get into a Skype conversation, of course they want attention. Of course.

Can we play mom, please?
Can we play mom, please?

My learning style has definitely developed over time and for that I am grateful.  Maybe the older I get the wiser I really do get? (I’ll have to keep thinking about this one).  I’m very grateful to be able to complete my PhD full time but in semesters like these (Quantitative, Qualitative, and Leadership Theories) I wish I would have only enrolled in one course.  If anything, it’s a challenge for my organizational skills, my learning style, and most importantly, my drinking skills.

What’s your learning style?

 

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Here’s a little funny for you – BuzzFeed is a grad student’s best friend.  What an amazing distraction.

 

 

beYOUtiful

I work for this incredible organization, Girls on the Run.  The mission of Girls on the Run is to inspire young girls to be healthy, joyful, and confident.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could inspire all women to be healthy, joyful, and confident?

This weekend I was representing Girls on the Run at a local health and wellness fair.  This is the first one I have worked and while I didn’t know exactly what to expect, I really enjoyed sharing this mission of Girls on the Run and meeting women in my community.  I’ve been dwelling on one conversation that I had and I’ve been trying to put it into words…so here it is!

As I was giving my spiel to one lady, telling her all about our 2x a week, 10 week long, 90 minute meetings with 3rd-5th grade girls…. the woman was disappointed that we didn’t start the program younger.  She explained to me that her daughter, in 2nd grade, can’t walk past a mirror and not stop and look at herself.  She said that her daughter looks at herself and says, “I’m so fat”, despite her small frame.

2nd grader.  Probably 7 years old.

Isn’t that amazing?

I have 20 more years of experience in this world than this young girl.  I struggle every day with how I look, what I have and don’t have, and what I wish I was.  I haven’t always fit in, I was never the skinniest girl, I am covered in freckles (that are oh-so-easy to make fun of) and I have always preferred to wear sweatpants over cutesy dresses.  I have been made fun of and I have been unhappy with my appearance, on more than one occasion.

But now, as an “adult”, I accept who I am.  I am me.  I have worked incredibly hard to be able to accept who I am and what I have.  Of course, I have dreams, desires, and wishes (I think that makes me human), but I love who I am, who I have become, and I am comfortable with where I am in my life and my “inner me”.

I know what I look like in the mirror, I know what my “inner me” thinks about that reflection in the mirror, but I have no idea how the rest of the world perceives me.  That seven year old looks in the mirror and thinks she’s fat.  I wonder what that 7 year old will say in 20 years? 

Now, I’m not putting blame on this mother, by any means.  I know nothing about her as a person or as a mother or their family dynamics.  But, as I have thought about this interaction, I can’t help but think about the power of influence

I know that I’m not old.  I’m not young either.  I am still influenced by the internet, the media, my family, my friends… aren’t we all? But children have the potential to be impacted so greatly by these sources of power and influence.  Children (like this 2nd grader) are learning about the world, about their family, about their bodies, about the best way to act/dress/look/be.  Influence is incredible.  Don’t you think? 

At some point, through some social media site, I came across an article talking about “things to not say in front of your daughter”.  Think I could find that article when I went to find that post? Heck no, I’m not that internet savvy I guess! However, I was able to scrounge up these links:

Great advice for moms and dads – those who have direct influence over their children.

Now, let me throw this out there.  I don’t have kids.  I plan to have kids, we’re just not there yet in life.  So yes, I don’t have the experience with raising a child – I am sure it’s 10,000 times harder than I am imagining and that the things in those links aren’t always that easy to talk about or do.  But I hope, one day, I’m able to have a daughter and be able to tell her that she is beYOUtiful, just how she is.  She is a warrior, strong, intelligent, brave… And if I have a son, I hope to be able to say the same.

We are all beautiful just how we are.  We just need to learn to accept that.  We need to be able to tell our “inner me” we are just the way we are meant to be.  We are beYOUtiful.  When we accept that within ourselves, I believe the rest of the world is able to see that – we shine from the inside out.

Be you. Be beautiful.

beyoutiful

beautiful

 

25 things every woman needs to know.

What an awesome list!! My personal favorite is #14… “You’ve got to embrace what you bring to the table”

It’s okay to be working on who we are, but we also need to be comfortable with who we are, where we are.

1) Life is a steep, uphill battle but it’s fierce & it’s beautiful & you’ll be sad to see it go if you live it right.

2) New people won’t stop coming into your life and opportunities won’t stop knocking on the door but you need to have the space for them. In all you currently have– be them relationships or obligations– step back and ask yourself “why.” If you can find the answer, hold tighter. If the answer escapes you, it’s time to let something go.

3) You should resolve to be awesome for the rest of your life. Right now. Do it.

4) Leggings, no matter how much we wish, will never one day magically transform into pants. Wearing them with tops that don’t cover your bum is not cute. Please, please, please stock up on pants.

5) Goals are not a January 1st kind of thing. Set…

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Half #2 in the books.

I haven’t blogged in 21 days.  To those of you who read this, I’m really sorry.

Truth is, I am really embarrassed about the (lack) of training that I did to prepare for this half marathon.  Here I have been, writing all these posts about how motivated I am and dedicated to fitness and continually striving to live a healthy life…. and I just didn’t follow through.

I admitted this in my last post, my training has been awful.  In fact, here is picture evidence of how terrible my training has been….

Sorry about the bad picture quality!
Sorry about the bad picture quality! Notice all the areas that have no writing? That’s because they weren’t completed.

Embarrassing, right?   

But heading into the race, I knew my training was terrible and I knew I was very unprepared.  So my goal went from running the race in under 2:15 to running the race to finish.

Man, did that make things so much easier.  In fact, my friend Lindsey and I actually had fun. Can you believe it? FUN….running a half marathon…. Never, ever, ever in my life did I think I would say that.  We talked wayyyyy more than we did our last half, we joked around, we sang “The Fox” song, we people watched….Additionally, we walked.  Much more than we did last time.  Mostly because there was an incredible amount of hills.

We ran the Brooksie Way Half Marathon in Rochester, Michigan.  When we signed up for the race, we heard it was pretty hilly, to which I thought “psh, I can handle hills”.  It wasn’t until about a week ago that I actually looked at the elevation page on the website.  Whoops.  Apparently “hill training Monday” (which as you can see above really didn’t happen…) wasn’t going to be enough for this race.  What’s that phrase? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? Right? Ha.

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I felt the race was pretty good.  It did seem a little disorganized, parking was a little chaotic (I don’t know why people don’t just get there earlier), one of the dirt roads was very wavy and bumpy, and I wish there was a little bit more rah! rah! along the course… BUT I appreciated the change of scenery (from downtown to suburbia to trails), the change of running surface, and I did appreciate the hills, despite my lack of preparation.

I finished my 2nd half marathon in:

ResultsThis was 11 minutes worse than my last race…. but I am totally okay with that. Obviously there is a bit of disappointment that I wasn’t able to beat my last race time (human nature) but given my lack of preparation and especially my lack of preparation for the hills… I’d say 11 minutes ain’t so bad.

I learned a lot this race, isn’t that what is most important? I learned that:

  • Training is really important, but sometimes it’s okay to let life get in the way. PRs don’t always need to be obtained.
  • Hills aren’t something to be messed with.
  • The race was so much more enjoyable when my nervousness was gone and I was able to relax, enjoy, and appreciate my run.
  • I think races are incredibly inspiring.  If you run a race and aren’t inspired, you aren’t taking it all in.
  • Friends are important.  I wouldn’t have been able to finish when I did, with a smile on my face, if it wasn’t for my friend, Lindsey.
  • I can do this. I did do this.

There is so much about running that needs to be put in perspective. While September is over, it marks the year mark of my running journey.  That’s it – 1 year.  In 1 year, I have run three 5ks, a 4miler, and two half marathons. Seriously? That’s incredible.  When training for this half, I came home from a run and told M “The run sucked, I only got 5 miles in and I had planned for 6”.  And then I stopped and thought… “I just ran 5 miles.  A year ago, I never could have even imagined running 5 miles.”  Running truly is an amazing sport.

Now, with this 2nd marathon under my belt, I plan to take the next two weeks few days and recover (meaning I need to be able to move fully as I am so incredibly sore and suffering through a bit of a knee injury I haven’t blogged about).  I might take a little time off training for a big race and just focus more on exercising for the health of it.  We’ll see though, I can be talked into just about anything.  Because I know I can do it.

Thanks for listening to me – my journey is continuing and I can’t wait to see where all I go.  With school madness in session, I hope to be blogging a bit more and sharing my life.

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I’m BACK on my Blogiversary!!!

WOW! I’ve been gone for quite a while… I know I’ve been missed, right? 🙂

I had a pleasant surprise last night while I was checking on my favorite blogs that yesterday is my ONE YEAR BLOGIVERSARY! 🙂 How exciting!!! I have incredibly enjoyed writing on my little space of the internet. My posts might be super random, get a lot (or very little) hits, and/or just be my way to talk about my life – I appreciate this little slice of heaven.  It has been a great escape for me, a great way to boast or to talk about hard times, and to track the healthy life I am seeking.  Thank you to anyone who has read this blog over the last year – I love sharing my thoughts with you all and can’t wait to continue to do so!!! Maybe one day I’ll become popular enough to have give-a-ways on my future blogiversaries…. Instead, you get a story. 

I didn’t post too much about my absence, but my husband and I were finally able to take our honeymoon!! We were traveling for 2.5 weeks – insane right? But, we figured that before (God-willing) we have kids and life gets in the way, this would be our one chance to take a long trip for just the two of us!

I am not going to go into full detail of the honeymoon, yet.  I haven’t adjusted to the time change, haven’t uploaded all of the pictures, and started 2 more jobs this week (plus school full time, but who’s counting that?)

We flew from South Bend, Indiana to San Francisco.  We only spent one night in San Francisco but managed to get in a great few hours of sight-seeing and experiences! After San Francisco came Sonoma Valley…yum, wine! We spent 2 nights in Sonoma before heading to Napa Valley…yum, more wine!!! We left Wine Country and headed to Northern California, driving straight up 101 North, along the coast, AMAZING views.  First stop was Eureka, California.   After a night stay in Eureka, we went a little further north to Crescent City, CA… hellllloooo Redwood Forest!!!!! After Crescent City came our uneventful transition into Oregon where we stayed in Coos Bay, OR.  Next stop (after the unbelievable Oregon coast) was Lincoln City, OR. We took the next day to make a little bit of a longer trip and went to Elma, WA. Let me tell you, Elma was the cat’s meow. ;-)…. Elma was our transition to our 3 day trip to Seattle, WA where we spent some quality time with one of M’s friends and groomsmen, Ryan – and where I got to spend my birthday! 🙂 After our stay in Seattle, we headed to George, Washington (yes, that’s a real place) for a 3 night camping stay at The Gorge Amphitheater to see our beloved Dave Matthews Band.  

We had an UNBELIEVABLE time.  This post is meant to just give you a little bit of an update on the trip – my plan is to be able to go through the places we stopped and ate and really give some good reviews! Hopefully I’ll be able to get to it this weekend – my Higher Education Law book is calling my name!

Enjoy the pictures, more to come! 

Thank you for all you do to support my little sweet slice of heaven!