Sunday, December 14, 2014

advent: slowing down

Without a doubt- "the most wonderful time of the year".  I couldn't agree more.

Also one of the most hectic, busy, and sometimes stressful times of the year.
{We just don't sing about that.}

This entire fall has been a little on the hectic side for us- overcommitting, traveling every weekend…
Don't get me wrong- we bring a lot of it on ourselves and most of the time, LOVE it.
…it just can't be sustained.

So this month, we've decided to slow down.  Our schedule is still pretty packed, but we want to soak in the glory of the reason we celebrate this season and focus on being intentional- with ourselves, with one another, with others.

This is our advent calendar- nothing extravagant.  I ordered the wooden tags on Amazon and put the whole thing together in one evening.  I numbered strips of paper and wrapped them around the tags.  Every day has something written on the inside- mostly small things, just ways that we can be intentional about this season.  Here are some of the things I included:

  • Buy a Christmas tree
  • Christmas movie night (no phones)
  • Advent Bible study
  • Make gifts: Christmas Crackers and Apple Pie Bourbon
  • Cook dinner together (again, phones off)
  • Check the freezer for a Christmas treat! (Eggnog ice cream)
  • Go on an ADVENTure (for us, something outside)
It's so easy to let this season come and go without really focusing on why this is a season at all, but we refuse to let that happen here this year.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

right now...

snuggled on the couch with my boy and a glass of wine. 

Christmas gifts.  

90's hits on Amazon Prime music.  Never dull with DJ Kahler.

Texas decided to get COLD this week.  80 last week, 40 today. 

creaky.  This weather is taking its toll on my old body.

layers!  It takes me about 3.4 seconds to change from work clothes to sweatpants this week.  I know Kahler loves that, but I'm just trying to survive.

this blog.  

an Aggie win this weekend.  SO unpredictable this year.

taco soup for dinner.  This is the epitome of soup weather. 

red blend.  Mmmm.

the lessons I'm learning in this season

for a snow day this year.  If it's got to be cold, 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

BCS 5 & Dime

{oh, hey Blogworld… I'm back!}

Have I ever mentioned how emotional this running thing makes me?

(Oh yeah… here, here and here…)
I've realized I haven't blogged about a few runs…  I'm going to "go back in time" and post about them soon!

Last weekend I ran the BCS 5 & Dime.  If you're local and are looking for a REALLY well done race, look into the BCS Race Series.  Top notch.

I went to town Friday night and met up with my mom and some of her friends who were running with us.  We filled our bellies at Rosas, picked up some last minute race fuel at HEB and headed back to our shwanky hotel.

Lay out race clothes.
Pin number to shirt.
Stretch and foam roll.
Try to sleep.  {actually slept pretty well}

Race morning…
Alarm goes off at 5:30am.
*Cue butterflies in stomach*
It doesn't matter what distance I'm running- I get nervous EVERY single race.

Run time...
Line up.  I was actually so distracted handing off my sweatshirt, cuing up my music, starting up my Nike running app… that I didn't even realize it was time to start until the gun went off!

…So off we went.

I ran miles 1-3 with my mom and her two friends.  Unlike me, they run intervals (run 8 minutes, walk 2), so that was different, but I'm a social runner and would rather run a {ever so slightly} slower pace if it means I get to run with friends, especially my mama!

Mile 3 was rough for mom.  She's been battling injury and that really flared up around 3.5.  She insisted that I go on without her and knowing what I would want if I were in her place, I went on.

{my mama- no words for how proud I am of her}

I ran mile 3-7 with her two friends.  They modified their intervals and I think we stopped to walk once (and what a glorious few minutes that was!).  Kept a good pace, pretty flat course- good run.

Around mile 7, I recognized someone just a few paces in front of me- one of the girls that works at the imaging center where I have had lots of back tests/treatments.  I LOVE the way the Lord brings His people together.  Lori held my hands and wiped my tears a few years ago when I used to get steroid injections in my spine.  SUCH a blessing during those days and what a sweet friendship that has turned out to be.  She managed to get my tired booty up those last few hills and we crossed the finish line together.

I crossed the finish line with that last bit of energy that can only come from the heavens after running 10 miles.  Took a few pictures, found my brother and sister-in-law and used my Nike app to figure out my pace- right at 11:00 min per mile*- ok, considering my lack of training.  Would like to shave a minute off of that, but I'm less than competitive and am all about finishing.

{Dusty and Sarah- brother and sister-in-law, who are WAY faster than me!}

Next- where's mom?  I called her- not sure if she had been able to finish and she said she was passing the Valero (about a mile and half from finishing).  She said not to come find her and I said "oh, no, I'm not"… as I was already heading her direction.  {just a little white lie… for the greater good, right?}  I mean, I had to cool down anyways, right!? I met her with about a mile to go.   We both cried when I found her and then quickly sucked it up- we had a race to finish!  We mostly walked and jogged a few times as her hip would allow.

{we matched on purpose}

Post run…
Back to the hotel.  Time to streeeeetch, drink water coffee, and shower.  Post-run showers are the best showers.  (Except maybe when you chafe… thankfully, not this run.)

Then time to shop.  World Market for me and boot shopping for mom.

And then time to head back home to our boys in time to watch an INCREDIBLE Fightin' Texas Aggie win agains #3 Auburn!!

Good run, great people to spend it with.

*Also, fun fact- this is the first time I've ever posted anything about my pace… something I've always been a little insecure about b/c I'm slooooow.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

BCS 5k10k

6.2 miles and another great BCS Race Series run!

{me and my mama at the finish}

I had originally planned to run this with a friend, but something came up she couldn't come.  (Friend, you know who you are and we aren't giving up- we're still going to find a run to do together!!)  I found out a couple of days before the race, which sent this Type A into a mini-panic.  I knew my mom and her running buddies were running so I had the option of running with them, but I also wanted to push myself a little harder and just see what would happen.

Race morning...
Kahler and I woke up early and drove to College Station for the 8am start.  I met up with my mom and her friends and stretched and lined up at the starting line with them, still unsure of my plan of attack.

I made a VERY last-minute (as in, running over the timing mat) decision to run alone.  I put in my earphones and pushed play and there was Shakira letting me know it was going to be a great run. :)

The weather was pretty great for a 10k- not cold, but not too hot.  Clear and sunny, only a little humid.

The run was great.  Flat course, a lot of it on A&M campus (which I LOVED).  I was pacing with a another girl around mile 4.5 and she said "ok, Pink Shirt, let's do this!" and we finished together.  I'm really glad she was there- I wanted to slow down, but she kept me going.

I finished barely over an hour- a 9:45 pace, which was by far the best pace I've run a race at.  (I'm usually at a 10-10:30 mile.)

My mom and her buddies finished not too far behind me- they rocked it!  We cooled down, stretched, hydrated and headed to Cracker Barrel- post-run food is the best food!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Glampout Reflecting

Two weeks ago, I spent the weekend with a bunch of amazing women at the dreamiest farmhouse in the Texas Hill Country.  They called it a "Glampout"- camping, with a little sass.  It was just what I needed and I'm still digesting the things God began to stir in me...

Spending the weekend with these women from all phases of life was a beautiful reminder that at the end of the day, we're all the same.

We all struggle.  There are some things we're all proud of, but they are often greatly outnumbered by our insecurities.  The funny part is, most of those insecurities are things that others don't think twice of and yet we continue to beat ourselves up with.

None of us know what we're doing.  Our calling is faithfulness, not perfection.  One step at a time, walking in obedience.

We forget.  We are daughters of the KING, my sisters!  And how easy is it to focus on our shortcomings and insecurities?  We were bought at a price, we have been CHOSEN.  What freedom and rest lies in that!  We have to remind ourselves and remind each other of that often.

We're incapable...  But God isn't.  Not one of us is capable of being what we're called to be- sister, daughter, wife, mother, friend.  God gives us that though.

We need each other.  Community is essential.  Real community.  It's easy to spend our lives searching for something perfect.  If that's the case, you'll never find it.  Life is happening wherever you are... are you part of it?

I want to "feel" again, to live richly and deeply.  This will likely mean blogging more, too- "cheaper than therapy".  This is something that's been stirring in me for a while now, but I'm just getting to the point of being able to put it into words.  When we moved back from Africa, I felt like a chunk of my heart was missing and to deal with that, I ignored it.  Too often I find myself going through the motions without intention, without reflecting on my emotions, my state.  No more.

Creating works up something deep inside of me- something I don't always prioritize.  Our God makes beautiful things.  He created us to appreciate that beauty.  Creating is good for the soul and I don't do it enough.  I'm ready to change that.

So there you have it.  Bits and pieces of an incredible weekend that left me longing for more.  Since that weekend, I haven't stopped thinking of ways to recreate that weekend in some way- being a safe place for women to let down their walls, be real and vulnerable, to unwind, to love and be loved.  Stay tuned...


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