Category Archives: Husband

Where I Landed When I Fell Off the Face of the Earth

Yet again, it seems I have fallen victim to life and all its curve balls. My blogging and training have been in an ongoing battle with my to-do list, and I’m sad to say they weren’t doing too well. This is probably obvious from my absence on all things social media! But I haven’t been just sitting around, twiddling my thumbs. And I certainly haven’t given up hope that my half-marathon will happen come hell or high water! First, let me fill you in on all the things that have been stealing my attention.

The LARGEST factor can be summed up in one word: school. As the time ticks down toward my final days as an undergrad, I have a bunch of projects and exciting assignments that need my full attention. Luckily, they are all things I’ve found to be rewarding as well as time consuming, which make them more worth the effort.

I’m currently in an Editing and Publishing class which operates as an independent publishing house called Cornerstone Press. Every year, the class publishes two books–reading through manuscript submissions, choosing which to publish, and then taking that manuscript from its raw form to a beautifully printed book. Each student is elected to a certain position: Copy Editor, Designer, Marketing Director, etc. I was elected to be Director of Sales, which means I coordinate all sales efforts of our previous titles and the current book chosen by our team.

This semester, we’re publishing a historical fiction novel about Adele Hugo, Victor Hugo’s daughter, titled Syncopation by Elizabeth Caulfield Felt. I’ve read the whole thing, obviously, and it’s phenomenal! I highly recommend you buy a copy after it is released April 20th! Plus, you’d be supporting me and my school in the process! <—shameless plug.

Syncopation_FrontCover.jpg

A great book club read!

The other class (actually ran by the same professor!) is Book History, which I’m happy to say is the most absorbing class I’ve ever taken. I haven’t missed a single day because I am always excited about what we’re going to be covering. It definitely brings out the book geek in me!

Aside from school, I’m applying for grad programs and getting ready to move to New York. Over spring break, I had the chance to spend a week there. Nick and I found our apartment too! Our dog will be happy because there’s a dog park a block away, and I’m happy because there are running paths a block away!

Speaking of running, I actually fulfilled one of my life-long dreams of running through Central Park. Yippee! I did a 4-miler and my time wasn’t ghastly either, considering I was out of my routine.

Since I was visiting over St. Patty’s day weekend, I was invited to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Manhattan. I felt like quite the rock star!

Nick still had to work while I was there, so I bummed around the city and saw all the touristy sights I missed on my last visit. Of course, I hit up the New York Public Library first because I have an obsession with all things books and libraries if you haven’t noticed. Another day, I went to the Statue of Liberty and stood in awe of her incredible beauty for what seemed like an hour. I can’t imagine what my ancestors’ reactions were as they immigrated from Finland, and saw her on the horizon. One thing I already love about the city is all the history that it contains.

This picture doesn't even do her justice.

These are just little tid-bits of what I’ve been doing lately. Still, I MISS RUNNING! I cannot stress that enough. I guess I know things are only going to pile-up more and more until May, when school is over. My trial race is the end of May, and I’m absolutely still set on giving it a go. I won’t be anywhere near the shape I should be in to do it, but I think it will be a good test. I’ll run as much as I can and walk when I feel like I’m about to die. After that, I’ll start my training over (or back track a little) and be in full swing by September’s race.

Enough about me…
How are all my fellow bloggers and followers these days?
Anyone else struggling with a crazy schedule?
Any running stories to share? I miss you!

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Getting Out of My Own Way

Source: Cathy on Pinterest

I have not always been a confident individual. For a long time, I wouldn’t even bother to set goals for myself. In my mind, I wasn’t an athlete, so I didn’t try out for a single high school sport. I didn’t consider myself capable of being a straight-A student, which allowed me to excuse the occasional bad grade. I knew I was a good person, and I never got into any trouble. I just had no desire to push myself outside of my comfort zone. When I looked in the mirror, I saw an average girl and I never once tried to prove myself wrong.

When it came to running, I utterly refused to believe I could last a single mile — let alone more than one! I saw runners as strong, powerful, and somehow above me. I looked up to them, and to me they were people who were able to push themselves to limits that I could only dream of. My freshman year of high school, I actually yelled at my gym teacher when he got frustrated that I was walking the last lap of the required mile run. I made some excuse about how I was hurt, but I’m sure he knew I was full of crap. I was a relatively quiet girl, and that was the only time I ever talked back to a teacher. But I had predetermined what I was capable of doing, and what I was not capable of doing. In my mind, there was no point in setting myself up for failure.

I don’t know what changed, exactly. Part of me seemed to get tired of watching everyone around me achieve greatness, while I stood on the sidelines. My husband, Nick, helped push me for the first time in my life. He saw potential in me that I wasn’t aware of. The first time we went running together, he took me on a mile jog. I felt like I was going to die by the end of it, but he didn’t let me quit. Instead, he had me sprinting the last stretch! At the time, I wanted to kick him in the shin — not literally of course! I was exhausted and angry that he didn’t let me rest. Looking back, I can now see that it was the best thing anyone has ever done for me. He didn’t let me give up, and I haven’t wanted to give up since.

It seems the biggest obstacles that we all have to overcome lie within ourselves. We have to stop letting our negative thoughts and self-image get in the way of what we want out of life. You have to believe in yourself enough to set goals for your life — even if they’re small ones, and find a way to make it happen. Don’t expect success to arrive overnight, or without any hard work. It might take a lot of your time, energy, and determination. You might feel like you want to quit. Don’t do it! Keep it moving, keep putting one foot in front of the other and push through the wall. Prove to yourself that you are capable of doing what you set your mind to, and it will propel you in whatever you choose to accomplish next.

Okay, I will now step off my soapbox. 

Anyone ever have a similar experience?
What walls have you had to push through?
What are some goals you hope to accomplish?

 

Birthdays, Cheese, and Happy Feet

Well Winter has officially hit Wisconsin.  Yesterday morning I stepped outside to find that it was easily -8 below zero, and that is not including the wind chill factor.  I don’t know if there is such a thing as it being “too cold to run,” but I wasn’t brave enough to lace up my shoes and head out into that ice box!  Overall, I’ve been sticking to my schedule though.  Last week, I ran a total of 8 miles — Saturday was my longer run of 4 miles.  I guess it’s not a lot of mileage compared to what I was doing last year, but it worked out well because the runs were easier to schedule around my Winter semester of classes.

And if you haven’t already heard about it…

TWITTER ROAD RACE THIS SATURDAY!

Oh yes, it’s happening.   created the Twitter Road Race, which will be this Saturday, January 21.  The distance is a 5k, so you basically just go out and run anywhere at anytime that day.  They have over 600 people registered so far, and probably more by now.  It just seems like a fun event — no one really wins.  After you run, you’ll submit your time and they’ll get everyone’s together and have the results posted.

If you want to register, this is where you need to go: Twitter Road Race Registration.

You can even get a bib!

In other news — my brother, Matt came to visit this week from England.  Of course we all gathered around to watch the Packers lose to the Giants on Sunday.  We all felt like crying, and eating away our sorrows.  So to recover, us cheese-heads took a trip to the local cheese factory.  I’m talking the best cheese factory of all time.  I guess that’s a little presumptuous, but not much.  People literally drive from surrounding states to get this cheese.

Matt making a goofy face, while shopping for some cheddar

To top off the week, January 16th was my hubby’s birthday!  Every year since we’ve been together, I’ve made him chocolate chip cookies instead of cake.  This year, I officially made the most delectable batch of cookies yet.  They were HUGE, and very chocolate-y.  Not too crispy, not too soft.  If baking cookies is an art, I just mastered the craft.  I can’t take credit for the recipe though, that was all thanks to Allrecipes.com.  If you too want to make the “Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie,” click here.

Just hand me a glass of milk, and I'm good to go!

So now you’re all caught up with my life as of late!   

Anyone else running the Twitter Road Race this Saturday?

 

Embracing the “New” in New York City

I grew up believing I would NEVER want to live in a concrete jungle like New York.  Considering I’ve only lived in cities with populations under 10,000 people, I  couldn’t imagine not knowing my neighbors, or having to worry about locking my door.  My parents own about 9 acres of land where I spent so many summer nights sprawled out on a blanket watching shooting stars.  Cities seemed too constraining and claustrophobic.  I had explored Milwaukee and Chicago here and there, so I knew that bigger cities offered a lot more diversity and night-life — not to mention I wouldn’t have to drive an hour to the mall.  Still, I swore I would live out my days in places with lots of trees and fresh air.

I must say, after actually visiting NYC this past summer, I’ve changed my opinion quite a bit.  While I still pine after the wide open spaces of the rural areas in the Midwest, I’ve learned to love the beauty that can be found amid the rising skylines.  My husband recently completed a summer internship in Manhattan while I stayed behind to take a couple college courses.  I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to visit over a long weekend, and we did a little bit of tourist-y sightseeing.  We went to see Mary Poppins on Broadway, Times Square, Central Park, and the Metropolitan Museum.  Everywhere I went, I was hearing beautiful languages spoken by beautiful people in beautiful places.  Being able to take the Subway EVERYWHERE was a huge turn on for me because Wisconsin’s public transportation sucks, quite frankly.  I only got a little taste of the Big Apple, but I was immediately craving more.

Let's Here It For New York!

My new found appreciation for the big city came just at the right time!  As it turns out, I’ll be moving there this May!  My husband was offered a full-time position at the place where he completed his internship.  A week or so after I graduate from college, I’ll be taking the plunge into NYC!  I am not going to lie, I am nervous.  That weekend over the summer was the most time I’ve spent there in my entire life.  Still, I feel as if I’m writing a whole new chapter for myself.  I have no doubt that this change will expose me to an unending amount of possibilities.  A wise man once said:

“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

I don’t know who that man is, but I like this quote!  I feel it sums up pretty much everything about what this move will mean.

Not to mention, I’ll be able to do some of my runs in Central Park!  Can I get a woot-woot?!

Broadway!

 Any suggestions on things I need to do or see once I get there?  Anything I should be prepared for or expect?

What I LOVE Right Now.

Minutes ago, I was attempting to bake a chicken breast in the oven for lunch.  Being the lazy dishwasher that I am, I thought I would cheat by lining my baking pan with wax paper – it says right on the box that it should work for “easy” clean up! Well…no.  Seconds after I popped my healthy lunch into the oven, my smoke alarm starts obnoxiously sounding throughout the kitchen.  Oops.  Maybe I need to re-read what the heck wax paper is supposed to be used for because clearly it can’t sustain itself in the oven.  The smell of nasty chemical compositions aerated through the house.  I needed help.  Which brings me to the first item I am in love with at the present moment!

Lemon Verbena Soy Candles

Lemon Verbena Soy Candles

1. On a recent Target escapade, a good friend raved about these candles.  They burn clean and the scent in incredible.  I can’t tell you how fast my kitchen stopped smelling like burnt nastiness and started smelling clean, fresh and invigorating!  The best part is they don’t cost an arm and a leg – I believe I got away with this one for around $10.

Kindle + Third Book of the Hunger Games Series = Epic

2. Now, I realize I am late in the game here.  I’ve been hearing about the Hunger Games for a while, but I couldn’t get myself to read it.  I guess I had expected something along the lines of Twilight, which I couldn’t get into.  Plus the whole premise of the book was not anything I ever would have thought to pick up in the past. BUT! I couldn’t have been more wrong! I savored the first book.  The characters are so well developed, the plot moves along fast and is well thought out, the action is exciting and leaves you on the edge of your comfiest chair.  I’m currently midway through the third book, Mockingjay, and it hasn’t disappointed so far.  Even better? I get to read it on my Kindle.  I can’t tell you how much I love toting that to the gym.  I can’t read and run at the same time, but when I ride the bike or the elliptical I can get my fill of reading.  Plus you don’t have to fumble trying to turn the page while in motion, something I always had trouble with.

Saucony Kinvara 2

3. One thing I can’t get over is how much I adore these shoes.  I was in dire need of a new pair to run in and I’m not a big fan of too much cushion.  I wanted something lightweight and supportive, but I had no idea what I was looking for.  Before I just ran in my old, old tennies (yucky and smelly), so this was to be my first real pair of running shoes.  After visiting our local shoe store, my eyes immediately sought out this fiesty model on display.  I oogled and awed for about 10 minues, going to look at other shoes and finding my way back to these show stoppers.  After trying them on and giving them a brief test drive around the store, I was convinced (perhaps too easily, but my heart knew what it wanted).  I have never once regretted that decision!  These shoes are perfect. Everything I was looking for and more.  When I was running 6 miles over the summer, my feet never hurt or had blisters.  My high arches never ached.  Wonderful.

If you want more professional reviews for this shoe – click here.

Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joe's

4. Tis’ the season for all sorts of yumminess…egg nog, hot cocoa, homemade pies and all those sorts of things.  Obviously my waistline doesn’t appreciate these in the same way I do, but I am not one to cut myself off from having a little something sweet every now and then.  At my recent trip to Trader Joe’s, I was intrigued by the idea of candy cane oreo-like cookies.  The whole concept sounded pretty amazing.  What closed the deal was a man who ran up and grabbed three boxes right in front of me, while going on and on about how he can’t get enough of them during the holidays.  Good enough for me! I bought two boxes.  Lo and behold – they’re fantastic.  Creamy peppermint filling with bits of candy cane sprinkled in for good measure and then pressed between two chocolatey wafers. The result is perfection, especially with a cup of hot cocoa.

A Man and His Dog

5. Finally, I had to squeeze in my husband and our dog.  They’ve been cracking me up lately.  I catch them snuggling on the couch all too often.  This picture says a thousand words.  Apparently I have competition! ❤

What are some things you love right now?

Healthy Dinner Southwestern Goulash

Last night, I was excited to make a meal I knew would be healthy and fast.  It literally took at the most a half hour to prepare and make.  There aren’t very many ingredients required for the recipe, but I did tweak a few things which is of course optional.  We had extra for leftovers and they still were good the next day, so you’ll have something for a healthy lunch too!

Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked macaroni noodles (I used whole wheat for added health benefits)
1 lb. lean ground beef (I chose to use ground turkey and my husband didn’t know the difference)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained (I like Rotel with the added chilies)
2/3 cup frozen corn
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup fresh minced cilantro
Optional:
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
salsa
cayenne pepper, to taste

Directions
1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. 

Meanwhile, in a dutch oven or soup pot, cook beef or turkey with the onion until meat is no longer pink, then drain the liquid remaining.  Stir in the tomatoes, corn, tomato sauce, chilies, cumin, pepper and salt.  This is where you would add about a half cup of salsa, black beans and the cayenne pepper as well.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 3-4 minutes.

Noodles cooking, beef mixture simmering

2. Drain macaroni, add to meat mixture.  Stir in cilantro and heat through.

This was such a breeze to make.  I got the recipe from my Taste of Home cookbook, which I LOVE!  There is a section devoted to healthy, 30 minute meals and the nutrition information is included (see below).  Now, before you serve the dish, taste it to see if there it’s missing something.  You might prefer it on the spicier side or vice versa.  This is very versatile so you couldn’t go wrong adding to it.  I find it to be perfect for busy, hectic evenings and it will definitely remain on my recipe rotation!  Enjoy!

The nutrition facts for this particular recipe (without my optional ingredients) are:

Serving: 1 1/3 cups = 224 calories, 6 grams fat (2 saturated), 24 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber, 19 grams protein

This may look sketchy, but I promise it's tasty!

Help! I’m a diet slacker!

Argh, I am so bad with blogging.  I feel like I never have time to just sit and pump out a good post!  I haven’t had a whole lot to write about as I haven’t been as strict with my workouts as I was a few weeks ago.  Nick is working and involved in a ton of campus activities and I’m still trying to get into a schedule.  We have been eating out a lot because we’re at school from 2-8:30 on some nights and by the time we get home it’s 9 and I’m definitely not in the mood to cook.  I know I need to start cooking meals or prepping them in the morning so they’re done or ready to go by the time we get home.  I know this is what I need to do and yet I haven’t practiced what I preach and just do it already!

Tomorrow night this will all change.  I’m going grocery shopping and stocking the house with healthy lunch materials that can be taken on the go as well as quick dinner fix-ins.  I am researching our campus gym so I can’t let school get in the way of my working out.  It’s about $50 or so per semester which isn’t bad.  They just tack the cost onto your tuition, so you don’t have to pay up front if you don’t want to.

All in all, I’ll be getting back on track here in no time.

As if one blog wasn’t enough for me to keep up with, I’ve decided to add another blog.  It’s called, My Life as a Disaster.  This will be a humorous personal project where I’ll write about the daily happenings of life in general.  I’ve added the link to the top of this blog, so please check it out and hopefully it will blossom into something fun for you all to read as well!