Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

        Memorial Day weekend the weather couldn't make up it's mind. Shorts and flip flops weather or jeans and sweatshirts.
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What's on Your Summer Bucket List

Here in MN it doesn't seem like summer should be here. I think every day during the month of May it hasn't gotten above 65 and it's been overcast or rainy. This week's forecast isn't any better. But I know by looking at the calendar that school will soon be over and summer will officially begin!

Have you started a Summer Bucket List?  For some inspiration check these out:

                                                                       Love the chalkboard idea by Emily at I Create...with love.

A fun free printable idea from Stacy at 7 on a Shoestring

          Another great printable from Uncommon Designs Online--love the idea of putting it on a Dollar Store plastic bucket.

This might just be my Acts of Kindness Bucket List from Inspired by Family Mag.

Now that I have these cute ideas I need to actually put together my Summer Bucket List. A couple of things right off the top of my head...trips to the DQ, bike rides on the Lake Wobegon Trail and campfires/s'mores.  It's a good start.

What's top on your Summer Bucket List?
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Friday, May 24, 2013

"C" is for Cookie

I'm going to date myself but my kids used to love singing that (and the line that came after it..."and that's good enough for me")after watching Sesame Street. But really, who doesn't like a cookie? One of the most talented cookie baker/decorators is the owner of Babcakes Bakery.

I fell in love with her cookies and her generosity when she baked cookies and sent them to my elderly parents. I had to order some "baby" cookies to send to my son and daughter-in-law after the birth of their first little one. They actually saved a couple for Jerry and me when we came to visit a couple weeks later. The cookies were still so delicious!

I follow her blog and enjoy seeing pictures of all her creations. Recently I read one of her posts about sending cookies to our troops in Afghanistan--Operation Cookie Takeover. Being the generous gal she is, Babcakes baked and decorated cookies to send over.

If you're ever in need of an unique gift her cookies would be the perfect thing! Here are just a few of her works of art. (almost too cute to eat!)

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

I Rocked the Fargo Marathon!!!

I can't believe I did it! I can't believe I did just keeps playing in my head.  But I really, really did it! I ran a marathon!

We drove the three hours to Fargo on Friday afternoon. I had packed and repacked and checked my list for the tenth time. I had carb-loaded and stayed hydrated. I had stuck to my training plan. I had my running clothes, shoes, fuel...I was ready!

Fun at the Expo.

We checked into our motel and then drove to the Fargo Dome. There was an Expo so we picked up our bib packet and shirt and then walked around. It was fun to see all the runners and their families. There was lots of fun merchandise to buy and some free stuff too. Since my daughter Lacie and I were both running we got our picture taken together in front of a cool racing backdrop.

Lacie decided to run/walk the 5K Friday night. I wasn't taking any chances so I chose to watch and cheer for her. While we waited for her to get to the FINISH line, we looked over the course route and tried to find places for Jerry to wait for us so he could cheer for Lacie and me. Many streets were blocked off and we didn't know Fargo so that was a bit of a challenge.

I actually slept quite well Friday night. I had brought along Lavender Essential Oil so I used that to help relax. I did wake up during the night when I heard it thunder but it was still dark out so I went back to sleep. When I got up at 6 to eat breakfast it was raining hard. I wasn't worried though because I had prayed really hard all week and I knew that God was going to take of us runners. Sure enough, by the time we got to the Fargo Dome at 7:45 it was overcast but no rain!!! (My brother-in-law and niece ran the half-marathon before us and they started in the rain.)

Someone sang the National Anthem and then we lined up to take off. I don't even know if it was a shot-gun start or not--I was too excited to notice. I just knew the runners ahead of me started moving. The first mile went by really fast. There were a couple of bands along the way and spectators cheering. The next mile and a half went by fast too. I did expect water around mile 2 but there wasn't any until around mile 3.

The next miles are a little fuzzy. I know we ran through downtown Fargo. A band had just started playing "Pretty Woman" when I ran by. Further down the way were more bands. We were routed down a bike path for a few miles that wasn't too fun. It was narrow and runners were going both ways. It was also beveled so that made it hard to pass anyone without having to run off the side and onto the grass. By this time the sun had come out and it was getting hot and humid. (My daughter told me later she saw a runner look at water bottles on the ground for some water--there just wasn't enough water on the course I don't think.)

I was feeling pretty good as I got to the half way mark. The bands were few and far between and not as many spectators so the miles went by a little slower. My legs were starting to cramp a little so I was happy to see Jerry at mile 14. He had some magnesium for me and powerade. That helped get me to about mile 20 before the real cramping started. (Jerry saw a runner notice a water bottle under a spectators chair and asked if they had any more. They did and put out extra water bottles on a little table.)

By this time it was really hot and humid. The runners around me had slowed down and we drank every drop of water and powerade that was handed to us. We took orange slices and treats that were given to us by spectators. We were SO grateful for spectators who set up their sprinklers for us to run through. I could have kissed the fellow who had ice cubes in a paper cup for us. I used those to cool off my face and then to suck on. Some had Kleenex for us but I would rather have had some baby wipes...but beggars can't be choosy! I felt sorry for the runner who was carrying a very large American flag the whole way. (There was also a fella on crutches who was walking the half-marathon!)

I was really disappointed that my legs and toes cramped so bad. The last few miles were spent running until the cramping became unbearable. Then I walked it off and ran a bit again. Over and over. Most people around me were walking. After 4 hours my phone battery died and my GPS watch mileage was different than the course miles. (at the end it said I ran 26.54 miles--probably from sometimes running across streets as we rounded corners?) Every new mile marker was a blessing!

As I was finishing mile 26 Lacie (who had already crossed the finish line) came out and ran the last .2 miles with me and crossed the FINISH line with me. I was totally overwhelmed by it all and finished crying-- not with my arms in the air "victorious" like I had envisioned. It was so meaningful to have Lacie there with me since she's been my inspiration and coach! (She doesn't look like she had to work at all!)

Crossing together!
My time was slower than I would have liked (4:47:05). Partly because of the cramping and partly because I stopped to high five every kid that had their hand out. If they were going to stand and cheer for us, I was certainly going to slap their hand!! I also slowed down at every water stop and drank all of the liquid in the cup! I didn't want to spill any of it trying to drink and run!

On Sunday my legs were stiff and sore but I expected that. Lots of icing and stick rolling and Gathered From The Garden's Runner's Relief Oil helped. (So did a nap!) Lacie and I decided to wear our marathon shirts to church but we left our medals at home. We were two pretty proud runners!

My list of prayer warriors.

I couldn't have reached that goal without the support of all my family and friends and especially Lacie and Jerry. Before the race my best friend gave me flowers and so did my daughter Rana and her hubby. The week before I ran I sent out an email and asked if family and friends would each take a mile. If they would pray for me during that mile, I would pray for them. This really helped get me through the miles--especially the hard ones at the end. (Jesus and my guardian angel were there running beside me too for sure.)

Would I do it again? Well...not for a long while that's for sure. It was fun but it was hard too. It was incredible for me to realize that I could actually run 26.2 miles, that I had set a goal and reached it. Someone told me only 1% will ever complete a marathon. That makes me smile and so does the 26.2 magnet that is now on my car!

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

                                   Can't wait until the lilac buds open!

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

DIY Magazine Cover Mock-up


I had so much fun making these magazine covers in honor of my mom and mother-in-law. I got the idea from "A Bird's Leap" blog. She did hers in iDraw which is something I am not familiar with. Instead, I used Picmonkey. It is very user-friendly. I just uploaded the photo I wanted to use. Then inserted text in different parts of the photo. The hardest part was coming up with the magazine titles and (what do you call them?) the blurbs(?) on the front.

Wouldn't this be a cute idea for graduation or birthdays too?
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Mother's Day

Remembering all the moms that have touched our lives...I thought you'd enjoy this poem. I don’t know who the author is but it says it all.

The young mother set her foot on the path of life. She asked, “Is this the long way?” And the elder said: “Yes, and the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning.” But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years.

So she played with her children, and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them, and the young Mother cried, “Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.”

Then the night came, and the storm, and the path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said, “Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come.”

And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary. But at all times she said to the children, “A little patience and we are there.” So the children climbed and when they reached the top, they said, “Mother, we would not have done it without you.” And the mother, when she lay down at night looked up at the stars and said, “This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today, I have given them strength.”

And with the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth, clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother said: “Look up. Lift your eyes to the light.” And the children looked and saw above the clouds an everlasting glory of stars, and they guided them beyond the darkness. And that night the Mother said, “This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children the Great Spirit.”

And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years, and the mother grew old and she was little and bent. But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage. And when the way was rough, they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, and beyond they could see a shining road and a beautiful land. And mother said: “I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them.”

And the children said, “You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone on your journey to the sky.” And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and she walked out of sight. And they said: “We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A Mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence.”

Your Mother is always with you. She’s the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street, she’s the smell of bleach in your freshly laundered clothes she’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not well. Your Mother lives inside your laughter. And she’s crystallized in every tear drop. She’s the place you came from, your first home; and she’s the map you follow with every step you take. She’s your first love and your first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can separate you. Not time, not space … not even death!

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