Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A year to remember and a happy, healthy, prosperous new year to come!

As we wind down 2013 I have been thinking of all the great things this year has held for us. It has been a busy year and a very accomplished year! We are both fortunate to have great jobs that we love. We have had a very healthy year. The girls are good and very active in school and community. My oldest daughter turned 16 and has had a successful few months of driving. My youngest daughter, a freshman, made Varsity Cheer with her sister and has had an excellent first year of high school. Since getting engaged in December of 2012 we have set our date booked our venues for both the wedding and reception, hired our photographers, bought the dress and booked our honeymoon. We spent a tremendous amount of time in the great outdoors that we love so much. James rode in two mountain bike races this year and I completed three 5K's. We both have become more aware of the food we eat and the level of physical activity we ensue and thus have become healthier in 2013. We have also started our home renovations. 2013 has been busy, however it has been the kind of busy that is wonderful, and we couldn't be happier!

As always with the end of a year we do reflect on the things that we wish to leave in 2013 and develop plans and goals for 2014. On Sunday we went to church and they had us write down those things and take them up and leave them at the front of the church. It was pretty powerful, I did not expect it to feel the way it did. It literally felt like I had left those things, those small quiet things we all may struggle with from time to time at the foot of the cross and as I walked back to my seat I felt a weight had been lifted. I encourage you, no matter your faith or spirituality, to consider reflecting on those things that you wish to leave in 2013 and not carry over into 2014. Write them down and then let it go! Write it down and then throw it away, burn it, get rid of it however your choose. If anything it brings those things into your focus for a moment and encourages you to develop your goals for 2014, how you will leave those things in the past and start the new year anew.

Our goals for 2014 are to continue to do our best in our family and at work. We will continue to support the girls in school and community. We will work to become even healthier and active. We will finalize our wedding plans as we will be married this year.We will finish phase I renovations on our home and hopefully sell a home and possibly start on phase II. I hope we can get in a lot of outdoor adventure in 2014! I want to run an 8K or 10K this year and James will also likely compete again in a mountain bike race or two. 

We are hopeful for another happy, healthy and prosperous new year and we wish you perfect health, happiness beyond measure and lasting prosperity 2014!!

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Race #3 - COMPLETED!!!

It really is amazing the things you can do when you really put your mind to it! This year I have reminded myself of this quite often! I ran my first mile without stopping in April and ran my very first 5K on October 5th, my second 5K on October 26th and now my third 5K on December 7th! I can hardly believe it!

It really has been amazing however this third race was a challenge for me. The race was a night race, it was a difficult course and I was very anxious the week or so leading up to the race! I was feeling competitive, wanting to beat myself, beat my last time, and I was afraid I wouldn't. I have been very public with my running, posting my times on social media for all my friends to see and after getting the amazing support from my friends and family I was also afraid I may disappoint them somehow by not doing as well as I knew I could. (It is a bit bold to be so public but I was so proud of how far I had come I wanted to share the goodness of it all with all those around me! I want to make runners out of everyone now!!)

I signed up for this race after joining a group called Run for God, that group, those people have been absolutely amazing! Without their support, encouragement and prayers I may have opted out of this race!

It sounds silly but I really did have performance anxiety until just before the race. An hour or so before I headed out the door to go and meet up with my group of friends I took a minute to pray. I asked God to calm me, remind me why it was I was doing this race (that it was not to out do someone else but rather to run my own race and "Run for God") and to help me get through it. As soon as I finished my small, silent prayer my youngest daughter said to me "Momma, I think I want to run with you". Oh my gosh you have no idea what this meant to me!! I know without doubt this was my prayer instantly answered!! I was suddenly calmed and remembered why I was running this race! 

My daughter ran the first race with me and inspired me to finish! I truly believe God responded to my prayer by sending her with me for this race providing the reminder and inspiration that I was looking for!!

We quickly got into our running gear and headed out the door! From that moment on I no longer felt any fear or anxiety, those feelings were replaced with happiness and excitement! It was wonderful! We had so much fun and ran our own race!

Believe it or not I finished in great time (for this killer route) and with each race my pace has improved. 

First 5K ~ 29:43 min, pace 9:39/M
Second 5K ~ 28:32 min, pace 9:11/M
Third 5K ~ 28:26 min, pace 9:09/M

I am so proud of how far I have come, I am so proud of my daughter for running with me! My oldest even said after that maybe she would run the next one! There is something about doing this as a family! You don't want to give up when you are all in it together! 

This has been a journey! I never intended to run a 5K when I first decided to go for a run. I really didn't even plan to run much at all, I showed up to give it a try. When I started this journey I was confidant I was not a runner, today I am confidant that I AM!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

High Five for Friday the 13th!!

Happy Happy Friday the 13th!!

Try not to walk under any ladders, step on any cracks, drop towels, break mirrors or get in the way of any black cats today! Ha!!

I am so glad it's Friday! It means the weekend is here!! Yay!!

Highlights for the past week:

1. I ran my third 5K on Saturday Night! It was awesome, hard, but awesome!

2. I have gotten in several great runs this week even with the cold cold temperatures and rain!

3. We are making serious progress on our home renovation project, new roof on, old gutters off, old fascia boards off, new fascia board on, soffits and fascia painting underway and new gutters coming in today! New windows are next! Exciting!! 

4. Almost all our Christmas shopping is complete! Now let the wrapping paper and ribbon madness begin! 

5. It is better to give then to receive. We are trying to find even small ways we can give this season. There are a slew of local charities and people in need and so we are making donations as we are able. It does feel good to give! I encourage you to give it a try!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

One of our favorite traditions at Christmas is selecting our Christmas Tree. We started this tradition when the girls were little and have continued it throughout the years. Generally on the weekend after Thanksgiving we travel to the mountains, find a Christmas Tree Farm, walk around through the farm looking at all the trees until we find the perfect one, then we cut it and load it up to bring it home and decorate. 

We generally will spend the afternoon in the mountains, having hot cider or cocoa at the farm, then maybe a little shopping and lunch thereafter!

For many years we went to the same farm in Newland, NC. Fraser Forest located off of Old Jonas Ridge Road. This year however we traveled through Boone to Panoramic View Christmas Tree Farm. It was a beautiful day and we found a beautiful tree!!

It is so much fun making these sweet memories with my family! 


May your holidays be merry and bright!

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