Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kicking Off My Favorite Holiday!

I love all holidays. 
Even the little ones that no one really pays attention to. 
I'll take any excuse to celebrate a day! Life's more fun that way! 

But there is something about the 4th of July...

1. It falls during the summer, which is my favorite season. 
2. Everyone barbecues and hangs out in the sunshine all day. 
3. Red, white, and blue go really well together. 
4. I love America!
5. And I LOVE fireworks. I may be a little bit of a pyromaniac, actually. But just a little :)

So last night, I was obviously going to go to the Treasure Valley's annual God and Country Festival.

I go every year, and I can't get enough of the live music, all of the people, and the fair atmosphere!

I had made plans with my cousin Alex to hang out last night, 
so we went together and met up with his girl friend Ashley and our friend Raquel. 

My favorite thing about festivals and fairs is the free stuff! 
I'm five years old and get really excited about things like balloons. 

Fair food! 
I'm actually not a fan of corn or lemonade 
(the roasted candied almonds and funnel cakes are are a different story), but how cute is this??? 

They like free stuff too :)

I really hope there are fireworks in Heaven!!!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

It's Tangent Tuesday!

Because I'm too lazy to connect my thoughts into a coherent blog, 
and I'm not even clever enough to come up with a unique title.... 
I had to steal the idea of "Tangent Tuesday" 
from some other blogs that I follow.
 But I think it's cute, and I love getting in on the trends, so here goes

1. I get to stay at my actual house this week with my family! I am subbing in the office at my school's other campus, which is much closer to my house than to the dorms, so I will be here all week!
Meridian > Ontario, so I am one happy girl :)

2. Last night my dad sent me to the store to buy ingredients to make him chocolate chip cookies. Of course, I was happy to do so! I'm on such a baking kick lately, and you all know how I feel about cookie dough! So we ate cookies and watched the Olympic trials. It was a perfectly lovely evening.

3. Speaking of the Olympic trials... So impressed by these guys!

Sara Hall made it to finals with third place in the Steeple Chase!!! These girls are unreal strong.

Lauren Fleshman, another one of my favorite runners, 
made it to finals in the 5k after battling an injury all year. She barely started running four weeks ago! 
Impressed? Yeah. Check out her blog where she talks about it! 

Of course she's exhausted! So proud of her!

And finally, Nick Symmonds, a Boise local (who I actually go to meet!!!!) got first in the 800 yesterday. He made it to the first round in Beijing in the last Olympics, 
but I'm really rooting for him to go all the way this time!
 This is shaping up to be a good year for track :) 

4. I got Ryan Hall's book in the mail yesterday. So excited to read it!!!! 

5. Since I'm home for the whole week, I scheduled all the appointments I needed to make. That means this week is full of visits to the dentist, car appointments, and the doctor. Fun. 

6. I love following Christine Caine's blog, and I especially loved her blog this morning. Here is a link to that and a youtube devotional she just started doing. She is so passionate about God and sharing his love, and it blessed me so much. She is honestly one of my heros. 

7. Have you seen these? Anyone who knows me knows that pink frosted animal cookies are among my favorite things in the whole world. But this is not okay. 

I'll take my pretty, pink cookies, thank you. 
No radioactive cookies for me

Whats your favorite sport to watch in the Olympic Trials? 
Have you tried Jungle Animal cookies? 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Good Runs And Bad Runs

I have been loving running lately.

This month is all about easy runs and getting back 
into the swing of things after a three week post season break. 
I'm really grateful to my coach about that, because heaven knows my body and mind needed a break. 

But now I feel like running even when I don't have to. 

Last Sunday, in the middle of the heated day, I felt like going on a run. 
Even though there was nothing on the schedule. And I went. And I loved it. 

Last night, after a ten hour drive back from Ashland, I felt like going on a run. 
And I did. And it felt amazing!!!

This morning was a different story.

From the minute I started out for my long run (just 80 minutes this week), I felt miserable and tired

It could have been because I had just gone running 12 hours before. 
Or because I was exhausted from the weeks festivities. 
Or maybe I just wasn't feeling it today. 

But about halfway through, I got the worst side stitch I have gotten in years running. Such bad pain, I literally wanted to quit running. And I have a pretty high pain tolerance. 
I did stop to change my ipod, but I made myself keep going. 

The side stitch was maybe due to the apple I ate before setting off 
(I have to eat something before morning long runs, or I'll run out of steam). 
But that has never led to such a bad cramp before! 
Thankfully, the pain went away about fifteen minutes later. The tiredness, however, didn't. 

What's my point? 

There are good runs and bad runs. 
Days where all you feel like doing is waking up and running with the sunrise, and days when getting out of bed to go pound the pavement couldn't sound more miserable. 

Days where you feel like you want to run across the country, 
and days when you just want to run home. 

Days where your thoughts are rolling and you are inspired, 
and days when running could not be more boring. 

You just have to take the good with the bad, like anything in life. Nothing is ever 100% perfect, 100% of the time. But you finish. You fight through. 

Thats what I did today. I just finished. 
I didn't freak out and worry about how I'm going to get through a whole summer of runs like that. 
I just let myself feel accomplished and remembered how lovely some of my other runs have been. 

Tomorrow is my rest day, but I'll be hitting the gym for some lifting.
 I love lifting for some odd reason, so I'm excited :) 

Anther Monday! Here we go! 

Have you been watching the Olympic Trials? So impressed by Amy Hastings. And all those 10k girls!

Pink Champagne Cupcakes and Politics

Ashland, Oregon, has got to be one of the most charming, hipster little cities I have ever been to. 

When we arrived Wednesday evening,
 I was convinced I needed to transfer to SOU. 
The city is surrounded by rolling hills covered in evergreen trees, and the buildings are quaint, reflecting the Shakespearean culture of Ashland. And everyone there owns a bike. 

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival happened to be going on the 
same week as we were there, 
so the city was teeming with tourists enjoying 
all the vegan friendly restaurants and the many lovely little book stores. 

It also happened to be beautiful weather, and as everyone knows, I'm a sucker for the sunshine!

Wednesday evening, we picked up dinner at a vegan friendly, organic restaurant called Pangea. 
While in Rome.... 

Eat like the Romans. And a tofu, spinach, and feta panini was the perfect way to do that! Don't ever be afraid to try new things, my friends. This was beyond delicious. 

Me, Emily (our advisor), and Lacey!

 Afterword, we headed to The Yogurt Hut for some fro yo. It was Lacey's first experience with frozen yogurt, and we knew we needed to introduce her to it! Needless to say, she is now obsessed. 

Also, they offered carob chips for toppings! I was dying. Not necessarily because they are that good or anything, but carob chips are SO co-op. If you don't know what those are, its okay. 
You just probably don't belong in Ashland. 

The REAL reason we were even there in the first place was the OSA Leadership Training Conference. Because I'm going to be president next year of ASG, I can definitely use all the training I can get. And Lacey, as a newcomer on ASG, definitely benefited as well. 

It was a good experience, for sure.
 I loved meeting all of the other students. 
I learned a lot about how to manage my team next year. 

But it was also funny.
The days were long and packed. 
All the meals they gave us were gluten free and vegan friendly (So OSA).
And we got asked our preferred gender preference every five minutes. 

Sometimes, being from Idaho, I forget how different Oregon really is from my home state! Especially politically. But I'm really glad to be on student government, because I'm learning SO MUCH about politics and how everything works. 

Despite the busy conference, 
we definitely got some down time to enjoy Ashland. 

Time for reading in the park. 

And cloud watching. 

And PINK CHAMPAGNE cupcakes!!!!!

Gourmet cupcakes are now 
my favorite things, EVER. 
Also pictured: Grasshopper Mint and White Chocolate Raspberry

If I don't become a missionary, 
or news anchor, or journalist, 
or talk show host, or actress....

Cupcake baker is definitely next on my list. 
Heck. I'll just do it all. 

I also got in all of my runs, while there. Which meant getting up extra early to run with the sunrise. 
But I could not have been happier. I have been loving running lately, and exploring such a cute, biker friendly little city made the runs like an adventure!

After the conference and the 10 hour drive home, I'm exhausted. 
But it was definitely a good experience. 

Have any of you ever been to Ashland? 

What's your favorite kind of cupcake? :)


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Throwback Thursday

Did you know that I was a ballerina for ten years? I miss it so much... if I could go back in my life I might actually want to just be a dancer! 

Weren't we cute? We were obviously stars... :) 

Sorry for the blurry picture! My phone camera really doesn't suffice for this stuff! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Should Be Working!

A little encouragement for the day :) 
This really spoke to me this morning. 

James 1:2-6 (Message)

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.

I set out on an early run this morning and finished it with a great lifting session. 
Needless to say, I'm pretty tired

I just started work for the day, though, and there is a lot to do before we leave for Ashland tomorrow! My advisor, the activities coordinator, and I will be going to a leadership conference for Oregon Universities, and I'm really looking forward to it! A road trip, a hotel, meeting tons of new people, delicious conference food (these things are normally catered), and a chance to get away for awhile. Plus, I'll be learning some really good pointers that will hopefully help me with the presidency thing next year, and the people I'm going with are SO much fun!!!  

I'll try to keep this blog updated while I'm there, 
but I'm not sure exactly how busy I'll be. 

I hope you have a majorly blessed day :) 
Remember, life's short! So enjoy it!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

What Do You Crave?

Personally, I always crave chocolate. 
Dark chocolate especially, with sea salt in it!!! 
(In fact, I am eating it right now as I write this post!)

I also am constantly craving ice cream or frozen yogurt,  and oddly, I crave cookie dough! 


Sometimes, my cravings for these foods are so strong, 
I can barely stand it. 

But if I don't eat them for a long time, I have noticed that I almost lose the cravings all together. If I started eating an apple every time I wanted chocolate, for example, I would start craving apples eventually. I know this, because I have seen it happen in my life. 
I used to never like broccoli. I literally crave it sometimes now. 

My point IS NOT that everyone should start eating apples instead of chocolate or broccoli instead of french fries. In fact, my point has NOTHING to do with food whatsoever, really. 

It just has to do with cravings. 
Simply put, you crave what you feed yourself
Think about it. 

When you watch that first episode of Gossip Girl, let's say, you may be skeptical. But the more you watch it, the more you become hooked on the characters, the story, and the drama. 
You begin to crave watching it. 

You may HATE exercise. But once you begin to do it everyday, it becomes easier and easier, and eventually your body begins to adapt. It begins to want to exercise. To sweat and produce endorphins. If you don't believe me, try it for a few weeks. You'll see what I mean.

In the same way, if I find myself more interested in watching the latest episode of Make It or Break It, or blogging, or doing pretty much anything OTHER than reading my Bible, it is probably because I haven't really been getting in to my Bible lately. 

But I have also noticed that when I start reading the Bible, I slowly begin to crave it. I will be in the middle of a grocery store and desperately wish I had a smart phone so that I could pull up my Bible app and get some of the Word in me. 

Whether you are a Christian, or a Buddhist monk, or a Pastafarian, 
the principle can still apply to you. 

You crave what you feed yourself. 
So my question is, what do you crave? 
What do you want to crave? 

Go eat it. 

Before I leave you, I want to say that I did not come up with this concept on my own. 
The podcast I listened to with Ryan and Sadie Hall yesterday, actually, inspired all of this. 
But I have been thinking about it a lot, and I wanted to share it with all of you!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Jesus and Running

Usually, when I run, I listen to podcasts. 

Today I started to listen to what I thought was a message from Bill Johnson at Bethel Church, and it ended up being a Q and A with Ryan and Sarah Hall, a professional/olympic running married couple that goes to Bethel church!!! They talked all about running, God, and the combination of the two, and it was amazing. You need to listen to it, even if you aren't a runner. 

Here's the link :) I was so blessed by this. They are my two new running heros. 

A Hero

Today is Father's Day. 
Which means every other blog, tweet, or facebook post you see today will relate to someone's dad. 
But I'm here to tell you that, while those dads may all be great, none of them stack up to mine. 

The older I get, the more that I realize how much of an impact my dad has had and continues to have on my life. He is the wisest, gentlest, kindest man that I know. He has a passion for life, for learning, and for God. He reads a book a week, practically, and is fascinated by all topics from the life of Madame Curie to the physical properties of atoms. 

He is a hard worker. He is silly and loves to make jokes. He is simple, and his heart is made perfectly content by lays potato chips, clam dip, and a bowl of vanilla ice cream 
paired with some B + Netflix movie!

He is madly in love with Jesus, and I have looked to his 
example in my own search for truth and for God. 
He has helped me battle through deep questions 
and thoughts and understand myself and Jesus more. 

And he is supportive of my dreams. I remember when I first started running at the high school level. I was alright, but nothing special. But it meant the world to me when one day he said to me "Susanna, don't ever rule out the Olympics. You never know what could happen if you work hard enough." 
And he was completely serious! 

I can't wait for him to get back today!!! He has been in Israel the last few weeks. Through his non profit organization, Gate Breaker Ministries, he has brought the truth and the Word of God to so many hungry people throughout the world. He has established sewing centers for underprivileged women in Pakistan, trained pastors in Kenya, and helped plant churches in Ireland. If you want to make a difference in the world, check out Gate Breaker's website! Just click on the link above!

He is truly my hero. And when people ask me what I want to do with my life, I always reply 
"I want to do what my dad does." 

I love you, Pad. 
Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Throwback Thursday!

Right before my family moved to Boise, about six years ago! I practically grew up with these girls :)
 I miss them! 

Finished as a Freshman!

Well, I am officially done with my freshman year of college!

Actually, I was officially done at about 9:15 a.m. yesterday! That was when I finished my very last final. And what did I do to celebrate? I went on a run! And then hit the gym for an intense lifting session. But it actually felt great!

The rest of the day was spent helping my roommates pack up and saying goodbye to everyone. It's so quiet around here now that most everybody is gone... And it really was sad saying goodbye. It was almost like the end of summer camp with everyone packing up... that kind of feeling.

Since I'm prez of ASG and now have a job at the college Monday through Thursday, I'll be staying in the dorms a few nights a week and then peace-ing out to be home for the weekends. So I watched everyone moved out, and I spread out my stuff!

This morning I got up early to go on my run and then raced over to a coffee shop to meet my friend Caroline for breakfast. I haven't seen her since track got done, so it was good to catch up with her!

She's the other blonde in the picture! I just found this gem of a picture on my computer :) 

She was late, so I took the opportunity to read my Message Bible for awhile, which was perfect.

I have been so beyond lazy the rest of the day, but I am thinking I will take advantage of the lovely weather and go on a bike ride :) My brother and his fiance are driving through town today, so I will see them later this afternoon, and then I'm off to Aleisha's tonight for the real end of the year celebration!!! Making pizzas and jumping on the trampoline will be involved. 

Recycled photo. As in, I think I have already used it on this blog.
But it's way too good :) 

I know, we are five years old :) 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ice Cream Date

To celebrate our last night as freshmen, we got a little crazy....

With Baskin Robins! At eleven p.m. I know, I know. We really need to settle it down! 

Since everyone else was either studying for finals (we were sick of that) or celebrating a little differently..... it ended up just being me, my roommate, and a girl from our track team. 
It was a fun little group though :) 

And now, due to my giant peanut butter cookie, my salted carmel ice cream, and various other treats I had today, I'm on a little bit of a sugar high! So sleep might not come too easily tonight. 
And I have an eight a.m. final tomorrow! My last one! 

All my roommates move out tomorrow... Its going to be lonely in here! 

I should try to sleep now. Goodnight world!

Celebrate the Little Things!

Today is that last Tuesday of my Freshman year of college. 
And it's also National Peanut Butter Cookie Day!!!

I'm not making this up. And I'm glad I'm not! Life's short, 
and I'm happy that we have days where we celebrate little things like cookies! 

This is how I celebrated: 

My favorite Ontario coffee shop, some green tea, the Bible and my journal, 
and the biggest peanut butter cookie ever!!!! 

Other great things about today? 

I got up early and ran before my finals (I'm finally back!!) and the birds were chirping and I got really inspired by my favorite podcast, Coffee With Chris.

Someone bought me coffee at the college bistro, just to be nice

My finals went well, and now I only have one left!

I had an "Indian shooting a star" on my tootsie-pop wrapper!

I'd say it has been a pretty lovely day so far!  

I love this verse in the Message Bible: 

Mark 12:30
"... love the Lord God with all your 
passion and prayer and intelligence and energy."

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Productive Procrastination

Saturday morning began way too early after a late Friday night.

We had to leave at seven thirty to make it to Ontario golf course for a fundraiser that our booster club was doing. Almost all of the athletic teams were there to play caddies or make lunch for the participants. It's not that I minded getting up that early on a Saturday... or even spending five hours running after the golf balls of drunk booster club members.... it was just sooo cold this Saturday. So cold, that I literally got sick. I wanted to throw up. I wanted to cry. I was not just being dramatic, either. My body literally shuts down in the cold. Everyone else was freezing, too, but I was way worse off. The golfers I was caddying for actually noticed and were concerned. 

The point of this story is that I actually got really sick. I made it through with a tip and everything, but even into the evening I had a fever and did not feel well. 

So even though I wasn't planning on coming home this weekend, I did. 
My mom is the only one in town at the moment, so I spent the night with her watching movies and eating homemade brownies we made :)

Black Bean Avocado Brownies????

Black beans and avocado. Don't be skeptical about these. Don't knock 'em 'til you try 'em. Just be adventurous. They are actually SO awesome!!!! And soft!!! And healthy!!!

 It was the perfect way to spend a relaxing night in!!! 

This morning we went to church and then went downtown so I could buy a dress for my brother's wedding! I cannot wait for summer to finally be here. 

Finals this week. 
I need to spend the rest of the day studying, but procrastinating a little won't hurt too much! 
Especially if I'm doing something productive... like talking to all of you! :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Throwback Thursday!

Happy Throwback Thursday everyone!!!
This is a picture of my sister and I about five years ago!!!
I think I was a freshman in high school! :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Weights and Words of Encouragement

I am still so amazed at how God sets up divine appointments in the most unexpected of places at the most unexpected of times!

Today, I thought that I was simply going to the weight room to lift. But God had a different idea!

I ended up chatting with a sweet older (middle-aged) lady, and she completely opened up to me about her life. She has had a rough couple of months, experiencing a divorce and battling off depression and sickness.

I just started to encourage her, and after we talked awhile I told her that I would be praying for her. She was so appreciative... and then she told me that it has been a difficult day, and she prayed this morning that God would send her encouragement!!!

She gave me a big hug and thanked me profusely.
And the thing is, it wasn't even me.
It was God working through me, and that feels so amazing!
I am so glad that he used me today.

If we stay in touch with God and listen to his voice, he will lead us into divine appointments even when we don't expect them. We have to be willing to follow his leading though! If you do, you may get the chance to make someone's day :)

So my challenge to all of you today is to go encourage someone! Go make someone smile :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Loving!

Between work and training for cross country, it's going to be a busy summer! 
But I still will have much more free time than I do now! Which I'm definitely looking forward too :)

So what will my summer look like?

1. It's going to include a lot of running and strength training, like I said.

2. And I'll be working Monday through Thursday 
(at my school! The ASG president scores a full time summer job apparently!) 

3. I'm going to decorate my room in the new house my parents just bought!

4. And do lots of art projects (I have been feeling so inspired lately, and I can't wait to just sit on my floor with a whole bunch of scrap booking stuff and magazines!)

5. And bake. Cupcakes, black bean brownies, quinoa cookies... I keep seeing all these interesting recipes, so why not? I'll finally have access to a kitchen (the dorm kitchen is nasty). I used to hate baking. What happened to me? 

6. I want to blog at least once every other day. 

7. Visit Priest River, Idaho, and my lovely Grandma :) Its like heaven in the summertime!!!

8. Get way better at guitar. 

9. Volunteer? The Ronald McDonald house looks like an amazing place to do this. 
I'm so impressed by them. 
They take in families of hospital patients so the families can be close to the hospital!

10. Read a book. Or two, or three. Any suggestions?

11. Hang out with my family and my little nephew :)

12. And see old friends! 

13. And finally, see my brother get married!

Aren't they perfect? 

I'm so excited for this summer. For campfires and marshmallow roasting and boating and tanning and ice cream and sleeping in and sun and camping. Should I go on?  I cannot wait!

Let's Play Catch-Up!

I'm fully aware that its Tuesday, but I thought I'd go ahead and fill you all in with some happenings from the weekend. Because I have a half an hour before dinner and I know you are super interested :)

I spent a good majority of my Saturday in downtown Boise. And I can't even explain to you how happy that makes me. I love Boise. But mostly just because I love downtown. 

Saturday morning began with a stroll through the Saturday market with my best friend!

Neither of us had been before, which is crazy, because we have lived in Boise for a long time!
After sampling everything from organic dried fruit to homemade toffee, 
we decided that we needed ice cream!
So sheep's milk ice cream it was! You have to try everything once, right?? 

We eventually ended up at Thomas Hammer coffee and chatted for awhile. 

I love this girl. 

Then she left and I skyped my French family!!!! In the coffee shop's back room. It was really nice to finally talk to them again... its been a long time! We had an appointment, but I wasn't at home... thus the coffeeshop skype-session. 

A visit to the hospital to see my baby nephew and sister was next!!!

THATS RIGHT!!!! I'm an aunt!!!! This is Benton Grier. I am truly in love with him. He was seven weeks premature, but he is a fighter!!! Please be praying for the little guy! 

My sister is going to be such a good mom :)

After finishing up on a paper and a lot of other homework, I spent Saturday evening at a ballet recital (oh how I miss it) and a coffee shop downtown listening to live music. Perfection. 

A perfect Saturday to get me through this crazy busy dead week. Yeah, I don't know why they even call it that. Summer's so close I can taste it!!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

June :)

Today is a very special day.

For a whole plethora of reasons. But I'll just list a few.

1. It is the first day of June. And since June is a summer month, that means the first day of summer! (Not for me, technically, quite yet... I still have two more weeks. But my mom, who is a sixth grade teacher, is thrilled to be done with school today!)

2. Today marks the one year anniversary of me moving back to America from Paris, France. It seems like a decade ago.

3. Apparently, it's National Donut Day! So that's pretty fantastic. I'm proud to live in a country that dedicates a whole day to the celebration of deep fried pastries.

Via Pinterest

How will I celebrate such a special day?

Well, I have to finish up a 15 page paper and create an oral presentation.

But that will probably be interspersed with playing with this little guy...

and soaking up some of the gorgeous sunshine...

and some iced coffee...
Via pinterest, again. I'm not a photographer, unfortunately!

and a donut, of course :)

Happy June 1st everyone!!!!