Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer Highlights

Tomorrow (8/15/14) my summer ends and I go back to work. Half of me is excited and the other half is silently begging for another week. This summer, however, was quite epic ...

Lets recap, shall we?

  • I wrapped up my first year of teaching by having to pack up EVERYTHING in my classroom and send it off to storage so my building can be remodeled and updated. Not a great start to my summer. No, sir. 
  • Unpacking my entire life and combining said life with another human's life was .... interesting? We now own 3 pizza cutters, 15 spatulas, two beds, 4 dressers ... you get my drift! We are still finding stuff that we do not need and are planning to either donate it all, or have an epic garage sale. My husband is a pack rat and sees use in everything, so we might just keep it all (please, God, no). 
  • Planning a wedding proved to be never ending. My to do list NEVER ended, and instead it just kept getting bigger because in today's age of Pinterest, there is always more more more that we can do that we feel we must, but actually do not need to do at all ... 
  • Getting married to a man that I met two years ago and quickly fell head over heels for was by far the highlight of my summer. I am beginning a new school year next week with a new name and I cannot wait to begin correcting everyone on how to pronounce my new last name. :) 
  • Riding RAGBRAI for the first time almost immediately after our wedding day. For those of you that are not from Iowa, RAGBRAI stands for the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (the Register is the Des Moines newspaper) and it is a huge bike ride from western Iowa to eastern Iowa. The idea is to start at the Missouri River and finish at the Mississippi River. Bill and rode for three days in the middle, missing out on dipping our tires in any rivers, but we had a fantastic time and I cannot wait to tackle the entire ride next year!

     What are some of the highlights from your summer??

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mailbox Monday

I have been on a bit of a book buying and borrowing spree these days ... with only 4 more days of summer left before I have to report back to work, there is no way I will finish them all. Somehow this does not stop me from taking them all home though ...

From the library, I have borrowed:

Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal (reading now - so far it is starting out great!)

Be Fruitful by Victoria Maizes - this is a book about fertility and getting pregnant. We do not have plans for anytime soon, but I figure you can never be too prepared!

The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller - a book about igniting the love of reading in children. This has come with amazing recommendations, so I am hoping I can at least skim through it this week!


Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman - I have watched the show (it is sooooo good!) and we decided to read the book for book club. The wait was too long at the library, so I purchased it from Target. I can't wait to read it!

If I Stay by Gayle Forman- the movie previews have been very intriguing lately for this story, so I just had to try and pick up the book before I see the movie! It's a YA book, and the type is pretty large, so it should be a fast read. Luckily, it was only $7 at Target.

The Romantics by Galt Niederhoffer - I loved the movie with Katie Holmes and when I spied this at Half Price Books and noticed the synopsis had some differences from the movie, I just had to pick it up.

The Dressmaker by Posie Graeme-Evans - total impulse buy. I have been craving some historical fiction and this one sounded pretty good.

This past week I also drove the 3 1/2 hours up to Minneapolis/St. Paul to catch a reading by Deborah Harkness, author of The Discovery of Witches! She just released the last book in the trilogy, and I am so excited to have all my books signed by her now!

Hearing her speak was a treat, and I am so glad I went! I am always blown away by how amazing authors are in person and how interesting they are. I never regret making the trip (I have yet to attend an event in Des Moines, because they rarely come here!)

I also spent some time shopping in the Cities and got some supplies for my classroom and new shoes for this school year!

My last full week of summer was very "bookish" but it was perfect! For my last four days for summer I have lots of plans ... I want to deep clean my car, paint the guest bathroom, organize our pantry (Bill is building me a new one out of a strange closet in our kitchen), organize Bill's closet, organize my closet (they are both a disaster) and get in some bike riding and book reading! Wish me luck ...

What books did you bring home this week? What are you reading right now?

Monday, August 4, 2014

July recap

Edit: this was supposed to go up on Friday, but for some reason it did not get published!

Hola, friends!

I cannot believe July is over. I don't want to believe it and wish I could refuse to accept it! July was a huge month for me, as most of you know because Bill and I got married! I promise (and I promise not to break my promise!) that I will get a wedding recap up. Promise, promise, promise!

Blogging is kind of like running. It is hard to get back to it after a long break, but once you do, you wonder why you ever took a break!


Anyway, I thought I'd do a little Music, Books, Miles and Looks recap of July, inspired by the lovely  Lisa and her monthly posts, which I always look forward to reading!


Well, I have been listening to Sara Bareilles nonstop because Bill and I danced to I Choose You for our first dance. I am so in love with the song. I owe a huge thank you to Becky for suggesting it. I had originally my heart set on This Kind of Love by Sister Hazel, but after Becky mentioned that I Choose You would be a wonderful wedding song, I listened to it a few times and fell almost immediately in love! After making Bill listen to it too, he agreed right away and liked it better than the Sister Hazel song. Love, love, love it!


I am also completely obsessed with The Piano Guys right now. We had the A Thousand Years playing during the wedding ceremony and every time I listen to it I get a lump in my throat. It is just so pretty! There is something about instrumentals that just gut me. I regret not having live music at the ceremony, but the way we did incorporate music was just fine.


My reading time in July was very minimal. In July I finished six books, which I know is not terrible at all, but one of them I had been reading for a couple months, so I shouldn't even count it, and another I was reading mostly in June, but finished the 2nd day into July. Anyway ... 

The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand 
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (so good!)
Goodnight June by Sarah Jio (amazing, as usual!)
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (AMAZING. Everyone-should-read-this-book amazing)

Obviously it was a good month for reading despite it being one of the busiest months of my life! I take back what I said about reading being minimal! :)


Running in July was great! According to Runkeeper, I ran 32.1 miles - but that is not completely accurate as I know I had some days where I did not use Runkeeper. 

However, after this past week, I am not sure where I stand with running. After my long run on Saturday I had awful heel pain. I had been struggling with heel pain since I began training in March, but it wasn't awful. After a mile or two, it went away. This past Saturday it did not go away and the last half of my 12 mile run was painful. I decided to take a break and see a podiatrist. She diagnosed me with a combination of plantar fasciitis and achilles tendinitis. 


How did this happen, you ask? Well, a number of reasons. 
  • Worn out running shoes
  • Not doing dynamic stretches before a run
  • Not stretching properly after a run
  • Running shoes that are not best for my feet or how I run
It will be okay with a lot of stretching, rolling and new shoes. However, I do not not feel 100% confident about a full marathon. Considering my job requires me to be on my feet all day, I really do not want to mess with my feet. A half marathon, for sure, but a full might not ever be in my future. :( 


I've gotta go with my favorite look of the month ... 

Hopefully I get the professional pictures back soon and can post a wedding recap for you all full of pictures!

What was your Music, Books, Miles and Looks for July?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I have something big to tell you all. 

I have been surprisingly quiet about this. For many reasons.
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of not following through
  • Fear of not being able to do it
I have been running for almost 3 years now. During that time I have done three half marathons, two 20ks, a couple 10Ks, several 5Ks and one 10 miler.

MANY people have asked, "When are you doing a full marathon?" Usually I would just smile politely and say that I didn't think a full was ever in my future. Only during one of the half marathons did I feel good as I finished.

Well, never say never. Right?

I am training for a full marathon. And, I might be an idiot.

Or, I could just be a glutton for punishment ...

Last year I began running with See-Us Run Des Moines, which is a running group out of Roosevelt High School in Des Moines. The group pairs an adult mentor runner with a student and together you train for a full marathon. Last year I ran with the group, but I was adamant that it was not the year for a full. My first year of teaching is hard enough, I knew throwing a full marathon into the mix would not be a good idea. I was right.

Now, a year later .... What is my excuse? Oh, yeah, I don't have one!! For me, running a full marathon is something that I want to say I did. It is a bucket list thing. I want to be able to say I trained my body to do it, and I did it. I do not care about time at all, and if it takes me six hours, then oh well!


This is purely to say I did it. In October, if all goes well, my bucket list will look like: run a full marathon :)

What is on your bucket list that scares you? Do you have any marathon tips for me?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Thoughts on Thursday

Hello! How has your week been? I am so glad it is a short week and today is the last day of the work week!

I know, I know. You're thinking, "you're a teacher! And it's summer! What do you care?"

Well, I actually AM working. Each morning I work at my friends daycare until noon, and two days a week I go straight from my friends daycare to tutor one of my mom's co-workers son who is going into the 5th grade. Those two things take up half my day!

Also, lately I have been seeing the chiropractor 3 times a week and the massage therapist once a week. Once all that is said and done, I do not have AS MUCH free time during the day. All other time is really filled up wedding planning and attempting to decorate my house.

Anyway. Here are some thoughts rolling through my head these days. In good ol' bullet fashion.

  • We are headed up to northern Iowa for the 4th of July. Not only do I we have a ton to do, but we both love that area of Iowa. It's Bill's neck of the woods (he is from Spencer, IA) but I adore Okoboji and would go up there every weekend if it wasn't 3 hours away!
  • Saturday I get to take home my dress! It will be done! I cannot wait to have it back in my possession! If I didn't need help getting it on, I think I would put it on everyday! LOL. 
  • I hope this is normal of a woman about to get married, but I cannot stop stalking every married person's wedding album on Facebook! Please tell me you also did this before your wedding day. Monday we met with our photographer (I adore him, he's so awesome!) and the photos are one of THE most important aspects of the wedding for me. I want classic, yet unique photos! I don't want to miss out any shot! 
  • I have been debating on wearing my hair up or down, and ultimately I decided on down. I almost always hate the way I look with my hair up, so I did not want to chance it! Here's a trial run of the curls... I'm hoping to add a few clip in extensions and then it will be half up with the veil underneath the half up portion. 

Ok, enough wedding talk.

  • Yesterday the weather was unseasonably cold. For July 2nd, it being in the 60s is just WEIRD. Our weather has been nuts! Personally, I was hoping for a hot summer, but I'm not sure we're going to get that this year! 
  • Our house is slowly coming together. Our goal is to do something small daily. Weather that be bringing in a box from the garage or hanging something on the wall. This week I painted the inside of a display case in our living room, brought in a few boxes and hung a large clock in our living room. I am shockingly fine with the disarray in our home right now, but I am sure once the wedding is over and I can focus on the house, I will have it done in no time. 
  • Working out with an unstructured schedule is haaaaaarrrrd. I am still running with my group so that gives me some structure, but other than that ... I'm struggling. I am also REALLY struggling to get in the strength training. I hardly did any in preparation for the wedding and I am worried I will regret it come July 19th!! I've been trying to do push-ups daily and even that is hard for me. :-/ 
  • Ragbrai training is going great!! I am so excited and cannot get enough of my bike these days!!!

What are you plans for the 4th??

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Weddings, workouts and whatever else is going on!

Hello! Happy summer!!

I still cannot believe it is summer, and not only is it officially summer, but it is the third week of my summer vacation! It is just going much too fast for my liking. :-/

Here's what I've been up to ... a whole lot of NOT blogging and reading, sadly.

The first week of summer I took two professional development classes because I still had money through our district to use and we get graduate credit for taking them, which moves you up on the payscale (can you say, hell yea??) so I felt obligated to get that done (so glad I did).

The second week of summer I started working at my friends in-home daycare (like last summer) and tutoring one fourth grade boy. I'm only at the day care 15-20 hours per week, which isn't bad, but I am slightly kicking myself for not just letting myself enjoy the summer.

The second week of summer I also began running with See-Us Run Des Moines regularly and it is really kicking my butt. I do really well with a "coach" or a "trainer" making me do something, and since I am technically a "mentor" runner, I have to keep my mouth and not complain too much about how it's hot or I am tired. (I am working on that, I complain a lot and it's hot. Even at 7am)

So, as you can see, I'm keeping my schedule jam-packed as I am so good at doing that.

What about the wedding? Yes, wedding. In approximately exactly 24 days. Eeeeeeek! Since I so enjoyed reading other brides' to-do list, I feel obligated to post mine ... Here ya go!

  • Practice make-up application (I'm doing my own)
  • Meet w/ pastor and finalize ceremony plans
  • Write vows
  • Rent popcorn machine (??? Maybe)
  • Create games for kids' table
  • Create puzzle/mad lib for something to do at tables during reception while waiting
  • Order cake 
  • Buy alcohol (we're doing all food and drinks ourselves!)
  • Buy all flatware/plates/napkins/cups/etc.
  • Finish guestbook (omg, I love it)
  • Decorations for reception 
  • Create programs and order them (big maybe, trying to decide if we need programs)
  • Trash cans & bags
  • Buy/borrow veil
  • 2nd and 3rd dress fitting (get to take home my dress in TWO WEEKS!)
  • Break in shoes
  • Figure out how to do nails (I don't want french)
  • Assemble wedding party gifts
  • Flower girl/ring bearer gifts (4)
So, there's that. I am for sure to the point where I just want to be done planning and I want the day to get here. I know that the list will not end, and there will be things that do not get done. Life will go on, but with each day that passes it seems like something else gets added to this list of things to do!!

Ok, moving on.

I have still been really active! Saturday I probably did the most physical activity in one day that I have ever done. I ran 8 miles with my running group and then a few hours later we went on a 50 mile bike ride to High Trestle Bridge. Have I mentioned how much I love my bike?? I really love biking!!

Here's a few photos ... I burned almost 4,000 calories on Saturday alone!

Other random stuff going on ...
  • I love Orange is the New Black! Bill and I are on the second season and I just got the book from the library. I cannot wait to read it! 
  • There is too much going on for me to really settle down and read though. :( Trying to overcome that.
  • After the wedding and Ragbrai, I have almost 3 whole weeks to do nothing. Literally, I have nothing on my schedule. No daycare work. No more planning. No schoolwork. Just running, reading and organizing my house. As much as I am looking forward to my wedding, I am really looking forward to that time as well.
What have you been up to? What's your workout regimen like in the summer? As much as I love Zumba, I find it very hard to be stuck inside a gym when it is beautiful out!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Three Things Thursday and a Q&A

Happy first day of summer to me!!!! As expected, I was up at 6:45 and I have had to remind myself several times, it is NOT Saturday. Ha!

Today I'm diving right back into blogging with a Three Things Thursday post and a fun Q&A that Nora, Stephany and Lisa have done recently!

Three "things" Thursday

1. Yesterday was the last day of school! I miraculously did not cry. My eyes welled up for a second, but this year I have gotten very good at turning OFF the water works. There's something about crying in front 10 year olds that just doesn't sit well with me! It was a very fun day though, we had a fun assembly where all the teachers dance to Happy, which you can see on my Facebook page here! After work, everyone headed over to one of our colleagues' house for an afternoon of drinking! I planned on not drinking much, but after a couple hours, it was decided that I would leave my car there and keep on drinking. I cannot remember the last time I have indulged that much, but I do remember that I hate the feeling the next day!! Luckily, I was not too drunk, so don't worry! I was not THAT co-worker! Too old for that!

2. This week is my first bachelorette party (yes, I said first), my shower and Bill's bachelor party. We will have LOTS of people in town this weekend and it will be FUN!! I have lots to do to get ready though.... on deck for today is organizing the library which has become a dumping ground for random crap. I'm excited to finally get my books pulled out of the garage and up on my shelves where they belong. :) I also hope to get my labels for the invitations ready, go buy stamps and begin stuffing envelopes and get the invites out TOMORROW! Whew... that is a lot. Especially if I want the invites out tomorrow. The rest of this post may be rushed! Ha.

3. June is officially ALL THINGS WEDDING and ... I'm a little nervous. I have procrastinated because of school and kept saying that, "I will do it in June." Well, now June is here. I have a lot to do .... I just keep reminding myself that it all will get done and will be a beautiful wedding!

11 Question Q&A

1.   What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? 

Turn off my alarm/sleep app. Check phone, which means checking email, Facebook, texts, Instagram and read a few blogs usually.

2. What do you eat for breakfast? 
It varies. Right now I am on a huge English muffin kick. I prefer to have scrambled eggs, but there is not always time for that. However, there is always time for coffee and I take my coffee with a spoonful of Stevia and some milk. These days, iced as well because I'm not a fan of hot drinks when it's warm out. 

3. What’s your go-to weeknight meal?
Usually tacos. I could eat tacos/fajitas several nights a week and be perfectly fine with that! 
4. Do you do any kind of journaling or memory keeping? 
Just this blog. And now, Facebook also helps with memory keeping. I used to keep a journal when I was younger, but not anymore.
5. How do you fix your coffee, or do you prefer tea (or neither)? 
Ha, I guess I explained this in number 2. Whoops!
6. What’s the last good book you read?  
Hmmm.. I have not read much lately! I just consulted Goodreads, and I haven't given out a 5 star rating since Me Before You by Jojo Moyes in December! Wow. I need to get going and read something GOOD. Do you have any suggestions?! Also, if you haven't read Me Before You yet, you're seriously missing out.
7. If you had a day all to yourself with no schedule, how would you spend it?
I would start by "sleeping in" until about 7am, then I would lay in bed for awhile drinking coffee, reading and/or blogging. Then I would go on a bike ride, maybe to run some errands. I would spend some time getting home improvement projects done on our new house. Maybe go shopping for a few new things for the house. Plan dinner and cook dinner for my soon to be hubby. Have dinner together and then end the night with a bike ride together followed by more laying around in the living room watching tv and/or playing on our ipads.

I feel so fortunate that this will probably happen today! I don't know about the cooking part ... lol, but almost everything else will happen!! 
8. What are three things on your life list? 
Fun a full marathon, visit all 50 states, and travel through Europe (I cannot pick just one place there!)

9. When you really need to relax or de-stress, where do you go and what do you do? 
Lay in bed and read or sleep. Take a long walk or run. Go for a bike ride.

10. What’s on your nightstand?
Several books and magazines, chapstick, Kleenex, hair tie, water bottle, and my wedding planner book.

11. What’s the last thing you do before you go to sleep? 
Check my phone. 

That's it for me! I'm off to be productive!! 

What's on your life list? Let me know if you complete this Q&A so I can read yours!