Friday, December 30, 2011

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Over break, I have been learning more than I learned my first trimester of college!

Like how sometimes, things don't go as planned. 
And how stressing out about things going wrong doesn't accomplish anything.

And how sometimes it is actually absolutely okay to do nothing but curl up with a good book and relax.

Or how much time its possible to spend on pinterest!

Or how family, and not tradition, is what makes the holidays so special.... even though twenty people crammed in a room playing a board game can get a little crazy sometimes. 

Or how its okay to not follow my running training schedule exactly... especially during off season, is sometimes maybe the best thing for me. (I have been doing a lot of pool workouts lately to prevent a nagging injury, and a 60 minute run the other day that I really didn't want to go on turned into an 1 and 45 minutes of running in the middle of nowhere, listening to worship music and enjoying every minute). 

And how time sometimes goes faster than we even realize....

 My little sister turned 18 this week. I'm turning 20 soon. But this seems like yesterday. 

And how its really the simple things in life...

like having breakfast with a best friend


or staying up all night with cousins


This is all of use four years back!! Such babies!!!


or killing a 400 meter repeat workout in the rain

This was my partner in crime for those crazy four hundreds!

or your dad treating you to Starbucks soy latte just to cheer you up after a rough morning...
that really make this life enjoyable. 



I realized how much can change in a year. And looking back on this last year in my life, 
I can see how much I have grown.

With New Year's Eve tomorrow, I have made lists like everyone else with all of the little things I want to change in life. It includes typical things like stopping bad habits, not wasting time (pinterest doesn't help with that...)  and speaking positively. 

But the most important thing, I think, is to not sweat the small stuff. To not stress and worry so much about everything. To not feel like I have to be in control all the time. To trust God with absolutely every single area of my life, and to give EVERYTHING to him. To give control to him. I know I'm going to change and grow a lot this year as well, and with my whole life ahead of me, there are still so many uncertainties and decisions to be made. But taking one day at a time, I'm going to give God control of my life and live in the peace that comes from that.  



Happy 2012 everyone! 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Twas the Night Before Christmas...

Merry Christmas Eve :) 
The candlelight service at my church tonight was wonderful, and after Christmas eve dinner we made some nanaimo bars for tomorrow with my mom!




I hope you all have a very "happy" Christmas! (I can't forget Christmas in London last year... Lib and I spent Christmas Eve at an English Christmas party with a whole bunch of
 "lovely" strangers with British accents! I miss Englad so much!) 

I'm so thankful for Jesus being born into this world to save us from sin, and I hope you all feel the warmth and love of the season :)

Oh, and this.... 




Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Get Hungry

The best present that God can give is a greater 
HUNGER for His presence

And that's what I want for Christmas!

If I fill up on the "ice cream" that the world has to offer, I will not be hungry for the spiritual nutrition that I need!

That's why so many people are starving today... They are hungry, and they seek to fill that hunger with anything that will fill them up.

The problem is that they fill up with things that do not sustain life. Only God sustains life.

And an increased hunger for him leads to increased consumption of his word and increased seeking after his presence!!! 



I have been thinking a lot about spiritual hunger lately. 
Being an athlete and placing huge physical demands on my body means that what I put into my body is incredibly important. I need to fuel myself properly to get good results.

I make sure that I have eaten the proper foods to fuel my workouts.
Then I make sure that I eat enough protein/carbs after workouts for recovery.
It all gets very complicated, and athletes will spend tons of time making sure that they are fueling their bodies correctly.

Just as I finish my run craving, let's say, a peanut butter banana sandwich, and I know it is important to refuel... We must remember how important it is to consume spiritual food every day! Otherwise, we will not have the energy to do anything!


  • So I want to have a greater hunger for God. 
  • I don't want to be full of the things of this world. 
  • I want an increased appetite for his word and his presence. 
  • Because the hungrier I am, the more I will eat!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Six Days Until Christmas!

Just because, I might as well... 

Colored lights or white lights?
Part of me loves the idea of colored lights, but honestly, I prefer the white ones. 
There is something so elegant about them, and I love them year-round too! 
There have been times where I never took them down from my room!  

This is our tree :) Same every year!



                                     Favorite Holiday Dish (Excluding Dessert)?                                                               
Excluding dessert? I don't understand the question...


Favorite Holiday memory as a child?

One year, my little sister and I got up at three a.m. on Christmas morning to open our stockings. We actually did this a few years in a row, but this particular year, instead of going back to bed afterward, we decided to make our family breakfast. We made toast with jam and orange juice (culinary geniuses, I know), and woke every single member of our family up to deliver them breakfast in bed. They really appreciated it. You could tell by the half eaten toast that remained by their bed all day. 


                                        Snow? Love it or dread it?                                          
I love snow. More just the magic of snow, because I hate the cold. 
But if it doesn't snow on Christmas, I will be very disappointed!



    Real tree or fake tree?
We are definitely fake tree kind of people, and I'm okay with that. I know I'm all about tradition, but that has always been our tradition! Who needs the mess of pine needles? 


This tree hangs in Galleries Lafayette in Paris.
Best tree I have ever seen!



What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you? 
Jesus was born, of course!!!


What is your favorite Holiday dessert? 
Anything with chocolate or peppermint! 
Every year, though, my mom makes nanaimo bars, which are a combination of chocolate and graham cracker and coconut and some white filling of goodness. 
It is a family recipe, and and I can say that nothing could ever possibly top them!


                                     What is your favorite tradition?                                                
Watching White Christmas. We watch it every year without fail, although last year, being in Europe, I for some reason couldn't find it! I will have to make up for it this year by watching it twice! 





Spending the holidays here was worth missing it though!




What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Oh Holy Night. Or any of the classics!


What do you leave for Santa?
Nothing! I never believed in Santa Claus, because my parents didn't want us to think they were liars when they finally had to break the news. I'm okay with that though!



Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?
Instead of a big Christmas eve feast, we always do Christmas morning breakfast! With coffee cake :) Mmm. This year, we will be at church though!






Last year, we watched the queen of England give her speech! So that was pretty special :) 



Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall?

I prefer the hustle and bustle of the mall any day!My mom does not agree, however...Our plan to do some major Christmas shopping yesterday turned out to be a failed attempt when my mom, after just one present bought from just one store visited, decided she hated shopping and was doing the rest online. I guess it was our fault for going to the mall on the Saturday before Christmas! Holiday madness! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

One Week Until Christmas!

I LOVE the Christmas season because there is a different atmosphere. Secular stations blast Christmas music that broadcast the birth of Christ, people are genuinely nicer and more giving, 
and giving is celebrated.

I haven't been doing much blogging lately because I have been spending all of my time catching up with friends and family, running (of course), and finishing up Christmas shopping! So here is to catching up!

. 1On Wednesday my sister and I shopped for eight hours straight and knocked out tons of presents! We only took a quick dinner break for some sushi :) It was delish! Then we wrapped Christmas presents until midnight while watching a cheesy lifetime Christmas movie. Perfect.



2. Thursday I went on a long run through the Boise foothills with two of my good high school cross country friends. We talked and caught up over eighty five minutes of beautiful frozen trails, and after we warmed up at Blue Sky Bagels like old times. It was so great, and it made me remember why I love running.

Which is something I have been struggling with lately.... I feel like I am getting a little burnt out to be honest. I have been going non-stop pretty much since last January, and since its supposed to be off season, I'm not really understanding why my coach's training schedule is telling me to do an 85 minute run on Christmas eve. But I'll save that discussion for later. 

3. GC Downtown on Thursday night was wonderful, and I love being back at my church!!!

4. Probably the most exciting thing that happened this weekend, though, is the arrival of my brother in law on Friday! He is home for two weeks on leave from Afghanistan, and it is such a blessing that his leave happened to fall over Christmas! My sister is thrilled, to say the least.

About thirty of us greeted him at the airport on Friday afternoon, and it was a wonderful reunion :)



5. My dad also just got back home after spending two weeks in Kenya. I missed him so much, and I can honestly say that he is my hero. I want to be just like him one day, traveling and ministering and helping people. It has been nice spending time with him this weekend!


6. Friday night I went to a girls' Christmas tea party!



 It was so much fun and SO adorable, complete with little cucumber sandwiches and pastries!




7. And last night, I met Christi at Starbucks, and we just sat there and talked for three whole hours about God and life and our futures. I am so thankful to have a friend like her... someone who it is just so effortless with and who I feel so comfortable around. I wish we lived in the same city!!

Only one week until Christmas! Embrace every moment :) 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

To Summarize the Day

1. My run this morning was so cold that I couldn't feel my hands at the end of it. 
Like, I couldn't open the door to my own house cold. 
I had to ring the doorbell for my sister to come let me in cold. 
And still, no snow. 

2. Almost nothing in the world puts me into more of a Christmas mood than Starbucks Christmas cups. 




Except maybe a Christmakkuh marathon, complete with all four O.C. episodes and egg nog. 
Yes, that did happen this weekend. 



3. I have been eating so much sugar lately, and it really needs to be stopped! I'm a seasonal flavors addict, so anything remotely having to do with the holiday season is impossible for me to resist lately! Case in point: we made two types of Christmas cookies tonight. And more are on the agenda. 

4. Online shopping is so fun and addicting. You click a button, and its done! I had to stop myself from doing all my Christmas shopping online, though, because it does not in any way compare to the magic of the mall this time of year. And no, I'm not joking. The hustle and bustle of last minute shoppers and kids lining up to see Santa Claus is really my thing! Christmas shopping tomorrow :)

5. I don't know how to spell Santa Claus to this day, because my parents never let me believe in him. In fact, I was that kid who made other kids cry by telling them he didn't exist. I feel quite bad about that. 

6. I'm really excited for my dad to finally get home on Thursday from Kenya! And today we experienced a Chrismakkuh miracle... my brother in law will also be here for Christmas! :) He gets his leave over the holiday!!!! So he will be here soon as well!

And that's about it. Goodnight bloggers! 

Christmas Vacation

This past week has been so restful.
And it is much needed.
I have spent my time having deep conversations in trendy coffee shops with friends,
Going to my church (I love my church so much, and its so nice to be back!),
Walking around in the freezing cold looking at Christmas lights,
And helping my older sister with her business, Stella and Dot. This company sells the most beautiful jewelry I have ever seen! She had a few trunk shows this weekend, and I want to buy everything!


This was one of our favorite Christmas decorations we found :)

And of course running, a lot, like always. In the cold! 

This morning I wanted to get up a little early and have some time to read my Bible and relax before my workout and the craziness of the day. Its going to be a busy (and quite possibly) stressful one, so its nice to have some time to gather my thoughts. I have discovered that I am really becoming a morning person! I just love the quietness and coziness of the mornings. 

Yesterday my sisters and I decided we needed to have a fro-yo date! 
I realize that its december and far too cold for such things, but its really never a bad time for frozen yogurt. Especially TCBY! It tastes so good, and its so healthy!

Peanut butter Chocolate, Cinnamon Churro, and Mint Chocolate Chip! Mmm :)

My favorite is the hard serve, and since my sisters and I are all terrible decision makers, we ended up getting a bunch of different flavors! 

I like eating mine with a baby spoon! I always have! It lasts longer!

On the agenda for today: 
  1. Doctor's appointment
  2. Last minute Christmas shopping (I haven't even started!!!) This is so unlike me!
  3. Errands, and more errands
  4. 10 min warm up, 16 xs 400 meters, 10 min cool down. 
This is the workout I'm about to do right now, in the freezing cold...
When I come back I'll have a bowl of oatmeal and some coffee to warm me up!! 

I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. 
It can be a busy, stressful holiday, but He gives a gift that the world can't take away, and that is peace. So embrace it today :)

And remember:

"The best way to spread Christmas cheer
is singing loud for all to hear!" - Elf 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Home for the Holidays!

Being home is so nice. 

With finals over and no school to think about for a whole month, 
I have actually been able to relax!

  • I have actually gotten to read for fun. 
  • And sleep in a little. 
  • And take a bubble bath!
  • And eat food that doesn't come from a cafeteria and taste like grease!
  • And go for runs on my own timing.... (though I still have a winter training schedule, I can switch the order a little if I want). 
  • And experiment with cooking! (When did I start to like doing this?) I made oatmeal pancakes this morning for my post long run meal :) 


I followed this recipe....

And since I have all this free time, I can do things like ride my bike down to a coffee shop 
and do some Bible reading/journaling/blogging. 

Right now I'm sitting at Moxie Java sipping on some dessert drip coffee... 
coconut cream I think?
I'm not going to lie, I was a little disappointed to find that they only offer their Christmas blends on certain days, and today was not one of them. Should have gone to Starbucks... 



But anything hot after a cold bike ride tastes good :) 




Nothing Can Separate


Last year I made it a goal for myself to read through the entire Bible. 
Growing up in the church, I have been memorizing verses and listening to stories 
about Noah’s Arc since I stepped out of the womb. 

I finally came to a point in my life, however, where I realized the importance of knowing exactly what I believe. And if I claim to believe in the Bible, I want to know it cover to cover.

This has brought so much revelation to my life about who God is and who I am through Christ. I started with the New Testament, and now I am making my way through the Old.

So I’m in Isaiah right now…
Which can be a little overwhelming.
The beginning is filled with description after description of God’s anger for the rebellious people who turned against Him despite everything He did for them.

I think for a lot of people living on earth today, this is the picture of God that they carry…..

But as I actually read these passages, what is sticking out to me is God’s forgiveness. His love. Not only did he eventually send his son to die on the cross to save a people who wanted nothing to do with him, but he also offers so many promises in the book of Isaiah, urging his people to return to him… and offering open arms.

Isaiah 30:15 "Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. 
In quietness and confidence is your strength."

Isaiah 30:18 "So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help."


These verses make it so evident. God is always willing to accept with open arms anyone who has turned against him. It doesn’t matter what bad things you have done. “You don’t have to clean off in the sink before you get into the shower” 
–It doesn’t make sense. 
God made the church for sinners. We are all sinners. 
What makes the difference is realizing that 
and letting God cleanse us!


Like the father in the parable of the prodigal son (which you can find here), he wants so badly for his children to return to him!!!

But you have to come to him. He will not force anyone to receive his love. He will love us, regardless. But whether we enter his open arms is up to us!

Often times, even as a Christian, its easy to believe the lie that sins that we commit separate us from the love of God.
THIS IS NOT TRUE!!!

Romans 8:38 says "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow--not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love."

Here is another promise from Isaiah that I really liked:

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, 
all those whose thoughts are fixed on you!

I want to keep my thoughts fixed on Him and his peace!




Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's The Little Things...

...That make life so much fun. 

Like making Christmas pancakes yesterday. 
And feeling like I aced my finals. 
And finally being able to talk without sounding like a horse (I'm not sick anymore!)

And... getting presents from the sweetest next door neighbors ever! :)




Yellow roses are the best early Christmas present!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Its Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Except for not really, because there is NO snow here. 
Its just really sunny, really windy, and really really cold! 

My first final of the week was super easy, and I only had one today. 
We decided to celebrate the first day of finals being over by making Christmas PANCAKES! 



 I don't even know where we got the idea to do this, but for some reason, we have been talking about making Christmas pancakes for forever! So why not? :) 



After searching at three stores to find food coloring (why stores don't carry this, I have no idea), we finally ended up purchasing the most expensive food coloring ever for $3.50 at Albertsons!




 Then the magic happened! 
 




It may not look like Christmas outside yet, but its definitely that time of year! I can taste it :) 
Spread the cheer!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Study Break!

Hey bloggers!

I have been studying for what seems like FOREVER now, and when I started reading the same sentence over and over in my Psych book, I knew it was time for a break. 

Finals week starts tomorrow, and that means that I have been surrounded by books pretty much all day. 
But I'm also sick. 

So there has been plenty of hot tea, airborne, and soup in the mix. Plus a warm blanket. Its really hard to focus when you are all foggy, let me tell you. 

There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.  ~Bernard-Paul Heroux


I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend! Other than being sick, mine was pretty great :)

It probably is my fault that I got this bad, because I started off Saturday morning with a seventy minute run in the freezing cold. I knew I was sick, and I knew it was a bad idea... but it was on my training schedule. My mom is really mad at me now for having gone, but I don't know if I can ever really bring myself to do less that what my coach expects of me (which is why indoor season is stressing me out so much... I'll explain that more later). 

After braving the elements, I got to go watch one of my best friends (Christi) run at her indoor meet at the Idaho Center on Saturday! Her team traveled here for it, and it was so cool to be able to watch her race, especially because she got to come to my cross country meet when we traveled to Portland! 


Getting to bed late last night probably didn't help the whole sickness thing much, either! 
But it was worth it.  
And we really needed to get out of the dorms, anyway. Saturday nights around here are out. of. control

So where do you go in Ontario at 10:30? The only place that's open other than Walmart! 

Denny's.
    
Hot chocolate date with my rooms :)

I think I'll probably head to bed early tonight.  
Only three more days of school, and then I'm home for the holidays :) 



Finals, let's do this.







Thursday, December 1, 2011

Things About Thursday!

Well, its finally December!!! And do you all know what that means?

ABC family officially starts "25 Days of Christmas! Falalalala lalalala!" 

You really wouldn't be able to tell that it was December in Ontario though. The sun was shining and it wasn't freezing! Where is the snow? 

So, some things about today! 

1. God has completely been rocking my world this week with revelation after revelation in the Bible. It's been so encouraging, and I hope some of the stuff I have shared on here has encouraged you all as well!

2. I love reading This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti right now! I never have been a good reader (I never have time), but when I get into a book, I love to read. This book is really interesting and has a really cool, Biblical twist. I'm still not very far a long, but the fact that I'm actually reading is a big deal :)



3. Today, my roommates made fun of me for dipping baby carrots into almond butter. I didn't ever really think that this was something abnormal. Until they said something... and then I realized how weird it is! I have always dipped carrots in peanut/almond butter. Its seriously my favorite snack ever! So good! By the way, they tried it and loved it. So there. 

4. My dad left for a three week trip to Kenya today! He is going to be teaching at a pastor's school there. I look up to him so much, and I always get excited for his trips because I know God does so much through him! He will be in Nairobi this time. He is staying in Nairobi this time:


5. Before practice today, I was feeling really... annoyed. I tend to get this way before hard workouts. Just nervous and focused. And this is a little amplified right now because I'm not that big of a fan of winter track, and no one is showing up to workouts. BUT. We did a thirty minute run, followed by a 15 minute tempo run. And I paced really well... in fact, if I would have kept up that pace for just a few more meters, I would have pr'd in my 5k! After workouts, I always get all giddy and in a really good mood. And today was the same! Runner's high maybe? I don't know. I always love running, but especially after practice is over :) 

6. Partially because my coach told me I needed to be getting more electrolytes in my diet, and partially because I only had five minutes before Psych and I needed some post workout fuel, I tried this GU sample I got at the Turkey Trot. 




I can't say that I was too big of a fan of the orange-y, thick goo. And I felt pretty sick during class. I think maybe its because I'm so used to eating really clean, unprocessed foods? Either way, this is not something I would really buy. I don't even really like Gatorade in general!

7. Psychology class makes me so happy. Every class period I learn something amazing and interesting. My professor is amazing, too. I think I'll probably take all three classes in the series. Maybe I should just be a Psych major?

8. I don't have class tomorrow! Which means I can sleep in and all I have to do is go to practice! And it's an easy run tomorrow! It will be a good day :)