Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Today was one of those I should be studying for finals but instead I'm just going to blog and watch tv days. 

I have felt so lazy this week! 
Maybe it has something to do with the end of the quarter? And Christmas? Mmmmhm. 

I thought practice today was just going to be an easy forty five minute run, due to the fact that yesterday we did killer hills! But it was sooooo windy!! I seriously hate Ontario. It is way too windy here!

Remember when I said I wasn't going to complain anymore? That was my last time, I swear :)

I can't wait for finals to be over and for Christmas break to officially start next Wednesday!
Just one more week!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Overwhelming Love

I have been so stirred up with faith the last two days! 

It really started with a conversation I had with my friend Anastasia yesterday. She is probably the person that most inspires me in my faith, and we talked for an hour about all that God is doing in our lives and around us and about heaven and His amazing love! And how in heaven we will be in the fullness of God's love - how it will just ooze out of us! And how we have a down payment on that now because God has given us the Holy Spirit!

I have been reading through Colossians and Ephesians the last two days, and here are some things that stuck out to me:

Col 3:2- "Think about the things of heaven, and not the things of earth!"
Col 3:11- "Christ is ALL that matters, and He lives in us!"

Eph 3:14-20 - He is able to accomplish INFINITELY more than we might ask or think... through us!

Think about it... the same exact power that conquered the grave lives in us. 
The God of all of the universe lives in us!!!

What is there to be afraid of? 

Its so easy to get discouraged... to feel conquered by the darkness around us and worn down. 
But when we realize (and I mean REALLY realize) that Jesus lives inside of us, we also realize that the darkness MUST flee!!! And there is so much freedom in the truth that in my weakness, 
God is made strong! 

I want to start living every single moment sensitive to what God wants me to do. Living in the power and confidence that we are called to live in. Making the most of every opportunity! 

I have also decided that I'm going to try to stop complaining as much. I want to speak life, not death. I want to speak positively, not negatively. I want to influence my atmosphere positively! 

And more than anything, I want a fuller realization of God's overwhelming love. Mmmm :) 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Peppermint mochas with my best friend :)

We finally got to have Christmas cups together, like we have been planning for months :) 
It was so good to catch up! And so encouraging. I love how no matter how far apart we live from each other, whether we are thousands of miles apart like last year or just a few hours drive away, when we get together its like we were never apart! And she always understands me so perfectly! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Please!

Happy Thanksgiving bloggers! 

Today was such a wonderful day. It was so filled with joy and good food and family. 

I got up super early for a 5k fun race downtown called The Turkey Day 5k. I kind of regretted my decision to do it when my alarm went off, but it ended up being so worth it! My friend Laura and I did it, and without even trying that hard, we both ran close to our PRs and got in the top ten!!! Its fun racing without getting all nervous about it!

We are super festive!
Plus, it made me super hungry for Thanksgiving dinner :)

Here is my dad, trying to take credit for the cooking. Yeah right! :)

My family is the main reason I'm thankful.
I can't believe how blessed I am.
I wish the rest of the fam could have been here though!

After dinner (lunch) we watched our traditional Thanksgiving movie, By the Light of the Silvery Moon.
If you have never heard of it, join the club. I swear our family is the only one that knows it exists. 
But watch it. It's a classic, and it will change your life!

Then games! And my little sister and I finished off the night decorating our Christmas tree and watching The Grinch That Stole Christmas. Can I please say that I honestly wish I lived in Whoville? They are just so festive there, I think I would probably fit in just right! Don't judge :)

And I am so thankful for how much God has blessed me this year. 
Honestly, I am overwhelmed with how good he has been to me, and I don't deserve it. 
He loves to give good gifts to his children :) 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Even though the day is ending, don't stop being thankful. Today marked the beginning of a season of JOY. So cling onto your reasons to be joyful and thankful, 
and focus on those each day! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Home Sweet Home!

I love being home. 
I love feeling comfortable. 
I love driving my car again.
I love the food here. 
I love that tonight, Liberty and I made peppermint bark!

And a tofu pumpkin pie.... 
We're a little health obsessed, and we do that kind of thing. 
I swear, it tastes just as good! 

Liberty had a hard time with pinching the crust :) It's surprisingly really hard! 

 I love that our tree is finally up!!! (Thanks daddy!) We still have to decorate :)

I love my family, however crazy they are!
And it's so good to see them all again :) 

Some other great things about today? 

107.9 and Delilah (she makes the holidays ten times better!)
A new haircut... bangs!
Twilight, for the second time :) 

And tomorrow I'm getting up way early to run a 5k downtown with my friend Laura before all the Thanksgiving festivities begin! So I better call it a night :) 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

There is something about Christmas lights that puts me in such a peaceful mood. We just put a few up in our dorm, along with a Christmas tree, and it just feels so... peaceful in here! 

I hope you all have had a great weekend! I sure have :) Tonight we finished off the weekend with a fondue party/ roommate date at Aleisha's house! It was so good, and I am SO full!

There was so much food, and all of it so healthy delicious! To finish things off, we had dessert fondue!

That was my favorite part! There were plenty of other things to dip in it: angel food cake, apples, and pineapple! My favorite was the banana dipped in chocolate. Mmmm :)

We are going to feel it in practice tomorrow! That's right... practice is already back on. I can't say I'm mentally ready for it, to be honest. As much as I love running and am ready to start running again, I don't think I'm ready for track. I wish I could just run on my own this week. 

It's really weird having to go to school the next two days, because practically everyone I know has the whole week off. I actually am feeling kind of... "blah" tonight (for lack of a better adjective). After such a great weekend, I really don't feel like going to school tomorrow. Or going to practice, like I said. 
But being that this is a month of thanksgiving and not complaining, I choose to be thankful :)
And I'm so thankful for my family, and for the fact that I can even go to school, and the fact that I get to be on a college cross country team, and for all of my friends here! 

And I only have to make it through two days, and then its holiday time :)


Psalm 37 really stood out to me earlier this week, and I thought I would share it with all of you. 
It is so filled with promises!!! 

"Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord, 
and he will give you your heart's desires.

Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, 
and the justice of your cause will shine like the 
noonday sun. 

The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives. 
Though they stumble, they will never fall, 
for the Lord holds them by the hand."

These verses make me feel so confident in my identity as a Christ follower. He delights in every detail of my life!!! He holds me by the hand. I don't need to worry about what everyone else does, or how things appear. I just need to trust him!!! 

If you are struggling with any sort of doubt or insecurity, I encourage you to start taking some of these verses and saying them aloud. Apply them to yourself. God ALWAYS keeps his promises, and these are clearly stated. His love for us is deeper and more overwhelming than we can ever imagine, even when we are too caught up in ourselves and our circumstances to notice it. Abide in that love...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Black Light Parties, Twilight, and Christmas Cookies!

So I know that everyday I'm supposed to post something that I'm thankful for,
 but yesterday got away from me a little bit! 

But I am thankful for all the good memories I made yesterday :) 

Last night my school put on a black light party for all of the students, and since one of my roommates was in charge of it, I went to help set up and check it out. It was actually really fun! We were covered in glow in the dark marker and paint at the end of it! :)

This is us getting being silly and getting ready for the dance, 
before being covered in glow stick paint!

I left the dance a little early though to go to the Twilight premiere with some other friends! That's right. I think it's actually the first premiere I have ever been to in my life, and I'm not even obsessed with it! Unlike the people who were literally camping outside of the door for hours just so they could get first choice of seats... And no, I'm not kidding. Even in such a small town like this! It was totally a random decision to go, but I'm glad I did :) It was a great night!

Class at eight a.m. this morning, however, was not so fun.
 Especially since I didn't got to bed until three thirty... 

After class I came back to the dorms to sleep for a little while. And I woke up to my roommates jumping around and telling me that it was snowing!!! That was actually a great way to be woken up :) 

The rest of the day has been super relaxing. We went and worked out...I really needed to do something, because I have been feeling so sluggish lately! Even though its our "off week" in between cross country and track, not working out was kind of killing me. So I just did some elliptical, biking, and lifting. No running still, so technically I'm still resting... :) 

And just now, my roommates and I baked cookies! Chocolate chip with peppermint :) Let me tell you, it was no easy feat without a mixing bowl, an electric mixer, or a cookie sheet! But they taste AMAZING. Much better than they look :) 

We also bought pumpkin cookies, christmas oreos, and those christmas cookies that come in the tin. So yeah, we went a little crazy I guess. But it was snowing, so we couldn't help it :)

To finish off this post... Today, I'm thankful that right now I know I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be, and I can totally trust God with that, even if sometimes I question myself. 
It's a good feeling to just trust Him :) 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Doing Work!

Today I'm thankful that I was able to cross all of the things I needed to do off of my "To Do" list!

I busted out three papers this afternoon! I'm feeling super accomplished. 
Now for some relaxing. :) 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Play Time!

Today, we realized we don't know what to do with ourselves when we don't have practice. 
So we went to the park and played! 

And we ate tons of chocolate chips and candy. So that's good. 
Instead of running, we eat!

Today, I'm thankful for free time to spend with friends :)
And adventures!!! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Being Thankful!

I'm going to make it my goal from today until Thanksgiving to post one
 thing that I'm thankful for every day. 

Today, I'm thankful for roommates who are cool enough to decorate our door for Christmas 
when it's still just the middle of November :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

NWAACC Championships

As you can probably imagine, Friday night was pretty restless. By the time my alarm finally went off at seven, I had already woken up several times and had to force myself to go back to sleep. I stumbled out of bed, looked in the mirror, and thought "today is the day"
I write this on my hand every race. 

Four hours later, on the starting line, I took a long, deep breath. Looking out at the lush green golf course stretching out in front of me, I couldn't help but smile. I was overwhelmed with thankfulness.... thankfulness for this season. For how well it has gone. For the opportunity to run. When I was in France, I was so worried that I had sacrificed my dream of running in college by doing what I knew I was supposed to do and doing missions. But God turned around and gave running right back to me. 

The gun went off. And the start was fast. I always knew it was going to be... my competition, the girl favored to win, would do her best to create a gap right away. And my goal was to stay with her. A few other girls and I pushed the pace, doing our best to go with her. Some fell back, others pulled forward out of nowhere. It was a battle, and no one wanted to back down. 

And it was cold. Within minutes, I could not feel my hands. But at least it wasn't raining! :) 

The course was not very well marked, and I had no idea what mile I was in at any time. People who have run cross country competitively before can understand how frustrating this is strategically. I did my best just to focus on racing though... matching moves and returning them with moves of my own. 

The race is somewhat of a blur to me now. Somehow, my competition slowly pulled away. With 600 meters to go and a downhill finish, I knew she was a little too far out of my reach. I now clung to fourth, hanging on right behind the number three girl. Behind me, I could hear someone doing their best to catch me. With one last surge of energy I kicked toward the finish line. 

People cheered, and I couldn't hear them. I could only feel my legs burning. I crossed the line... the last finish line of this cross country season. Fourth. 

And I felt... a little disappointed, honestly. As an athlete and a competitive person, I will always wish I did more and think I can do better. And I didn't get my goal, necessarily. BUT- I can't be too hard on myself. I have come so far since I was in high school. And when I started the season, I had no idea of was capable of accomplishing all that I have. The fact is, I am so blessed that I was even able to get a medal, and that is an accomplishment in itself. 

And on top of that, my girl's team placed second and trophied!!!! We are apparently the first women's team from our school to trophy at NWAACCs. We were beyond excited :) 
NWACCs second place :) 
We had these shirts made with our favorite quotes:
"If you want to succeed, your desire for success must be greater
than your fear of failure."

So now the season is over, and it ended on a high note.
I'm still hungry for that feeling that I gave absolutely everything I had in a race. 
I still want to experiencing collapsing across a finish line
But I am really proud of what I have done. 
And its not the end. Just the beginning :)

I'm looking forward to having this week off of practice. I'm sure I'll probably feel sluggish and nasty, but it will be a much needed mental break. And then, track. 

5k (and 10K?) for me! Having never run more that a mile on the track, I'm a little nervous for these races, but my coach is pretty confident that's where he wants me, so we'll see! 

I'll miss cross country though. I already do. 

Here is one last picture from this weekend. Us with our favorite runner, Nick Symmonds.
Well, he is definitely mine, anyway. For more reasons than one :)  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Make a Wish!!

Today is 11-11-11! (In case you all didn't know). And I have been excited about this day for forever. But believe it or not, I actually forgot to make a wish at 11:11. 
Somehow, between 10:45 and about 12:00, I got distracted.
 I was pretty devastated. 

And you can probably all guess what I was going to wish too!

Tomorrow is nationals. This is it

I'm relaxing in our hotel room right now, waiting to go to our team dinner. We got back from running the course a little while ago. It was pouring down rain. (Now I remember why I don't want to live in the Seattle area! I hate the rain!) The golf course was a half an inch deep with mud and water. 
We were freezing. 

But its okay. None of that matters! And I can honestly say that right at this moment, I'm not nervous. I don't know why. The past week has been filled with nerves. But I feel.... ready. Ready to go and do what I came to do. And peaceful. 

All that matters tomorrow is who is best tomorrow. Who makes the choice to give everything they have. And that's what I'm going to do. 

And I'm not running for a title tomorrow. Yes, I want one. Yes, I will be racing. But I'm running for me. To see how far I can push myself. That's why I run. 

To wrap this up, I want to say that today is also Veteran's day. And I want to mention my brother in law, Anthony, who is currently serving in Afghanistan. He is one of the most honorable, brave guys I have ever met. A true hero, as all of our veterans are! 

Okay. I'm done rambling. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. 
And by the way....

My sister Naphtali, after hearing that I missed my chance to make my 11:11 wish, 
told me that she made hers, and it was for me :) 

So that's about the sweetest thing I have ever heard, and I'm covered :) 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Three Days Until Race Day...

Three days until the biggest race of my life, to be exact. 
We just finished our last hard workout of the season, and I'm freaking out. 

The last ten months of training have led up to this moment. All of the individual training I did while I was in France... all of the miles I put in by myself, the workouts I did over the summer, the grueling practices with my team... Its time for them to pay off. 

On Saturday is NWAACCs, our cross country championships. Over the past week, I have felt every emotion possible about this race. I am so nervous, and I honestly am feeling a lot of pressure to perform well. I don't want to disappoint my coach. He has tons of goals for me... which is a good thing. On Saturday he told me to go on my sixty minute run and focus on what I was going to do in my race. Not to go too hard or too fast, but just to love running and focus. And it was good. I visualized what I want to do. I hope I can run up to his expectation. 

But I need to run this race  for my team. We have a chance of taking first if we run close enough together. And I need to run this race for myself. I have never fallen down at the finish line. I have never passed the barrier of giving everything I have in a race, and thats what I want to do. 

My friend Christi sent me a text earlier that said: 
"Don't let your butterflies turn into moths." 

That is some of the best advice I have ever heard. Nerves are good. They only become harmful when we start thinking negatively. So only positive thinking from this moment on!!!

We leave tomorrow, and we will drive halfway there and finish the rest of the drive on Friday. Then Saturday... we race! I'll have my laptop with me, so I'll try to keep you updated. 
I'm off to a team dinner now! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

November 4th, & 4 Reasons To Be Thankful!

On a blustery day like this, there is absolutely nothing better than sipping on hot Starbucks out of a Christmas cup. That's right everyone. It's November, which means that Christmas commercials are starting to flood the tv screen, decorations are starting to be seen in stores, and its finally (somewhat)acceptable for me to listen to Christmas music everyday!(Reason to be thankful #1)

This is just a large hot water while
I'm waiting for my friend. I could never
drink that much coffee! :) 

Last night was a huge night for my church. Generation Church Downtown, which is our college age youth group, put on a huge invite night at the Egyptian Theater. Hundreds of people showed up including tons of newcomers. The atmosphere was absolutely electric. I can honestly say that there is no where in the world I would rather be than worshipping God surrounded by so many people that are on fire for him!! There was also tons of fun stuff like an ipad giveaway, and the band Hollow Wood  played afterword. But most importantly, God showed up in such a powerful way! It was an amazing night, and I was so happy to be able to go! (Reason to be thankful #2)

I didn't think I was going to be be able to go. In fact, I was sure of it. Being on a thursday night, I would have no one to take me back to school afterwards. But coincidentally (or miraculously) both my friday class and my friday practice got cancelled!!! So I was able to go back home for the weekend early!!! 

Now I'm sitting here waiting to meet my friend Lena to catch up over some coffee. 
I love her, and it's been a long time! 
(Reason to be thankful #3)

AND GUESS WHAT??? Its snowing :) :) 
No, I'm not kidding. 

(Reason to be thankful #4)!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Early morning runs, stress, and trust.

Worst blog title ever, I know!  But I figured I should let you all know what you are getting yourself into.

This morning started off with an adventure. My roommate and I, for some reason I cannot explain, decided to get up at seven on our only day to sleep in and go on our hour long run in the freezing cold and dark! (There was no practice today so we all had to run on our own.) We wanted to get it out of the way before the rest of our day started, so we were super enthusiastic about the idea last night.... but it was SO COLD this morning we almost turned around and went back to bed.

I could not feel my hands at all when we got back. In all honesty though, it was so much fun. I love long runs talking with friends, I love watching the sun get up in the morning, and I love coming back to a big bowl of oatmeal. And today I had it with banana cooked into it... if you haven't tried banana cooked and whipped into oatmeal, try it! It pretty much changed my life :) I'm sad I didn't take a picture so I could show you all how good it looks!!

SO now for the stress part. Advising/Registration day was today for Winter term, and pretty much everything that could have gone wrong did. None of my classes were working together, classes filled up way too quickly, my computer wouldn't work.... It was a disaster. I started the process of registering almost four hours ago, and I just now worked out all of the kinks! But I think, for the most part, its finally taken care of.

But the thing about me and stress is, we don't get along well. I let it push me around way too easily, and I let it get to me even when the issues are not that big. There are so many things in life we could stress about... the list is unending. And today I experienced a few of the little stresses: lack of control, things not working out the way I wanted.... and one of the big stresses: money worries. But the thing is, we are not supposed to worry.

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. 
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 
Phil 4:6


Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, 
but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing!
Psalm 34: 10

I love this, because it trumps everything. And I love, especially, that it ends with being thankful. Because no matter what things go wrong, we always have so much to be thankful for. And it is the month of thankfulness after all :)

Oh yeah, and Happy November!!! :)