Monday, December 31, 2012

Another Year

It's crazy to think that this is the last blog I will write in 2012. 

Crazy to think how fast this year has gone. 

Crazy to think that I have no idea where I'll be living or what school I will be going to next year. 

2012 has had it's fair share of surprises, bumps, challenges, and victories, but God' grace has carried me through all of it. 

This year I want to love more. Stress less. Spend more time reading the Bible. Give more extravagantly. Enjoy life. Put less pressure on myself. Have balance. 

I'm so excited to see what 2013 has in store!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Highlights

The last week has been a lovely mess of family, friends, and delicious food. 

I honestly cannot remember everything that happened, and I don't intend to write it all down. I have been so busy just living. Relaxing. Embracing life and little moments and holiday bliss. 

I had two Christmases, really. 

One on Christmas Eve, since my brother and sister in law could only be home that night...

And one on Christmas day. 

On Christmas, while we were sitting around the tree opening presents, a random lady walked through our door with arms full of presents. After staring at us for a few seconds (our tree is right by the door) she said "Oh, wrong house!" And went on her merry way. 

My sister and I decided to go see Les Mis that night, but we didn't think about how it would obviously be sold out if we got there only five minutes early. So we saw Lincoln instead. 
Definitely deep for Christmas, but still a fantastic movie!
The last few days have included my dad's birthday, my little sister's birthday, 
some shopping, and snow!!!!!! 

We also made it to Les Miserables eventually.. 

I have pretty much lived off of sugar the last week, and I have been having to get early morning runs in (in the dark and snow) for them to actually happen. But its all working out! I still have tons of family in town, but everything will chill out around New Year's. I'm loving the spontaneity life has brought me lately, though. I'm unorganized and not in control of everything. 
And I love it!!! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Favorites!

This past week, I have written about eight really good blog posts in my head... 
But none of them actually got written down. 

It's not like I haven't had time to blog. In fact, I have been journaling pretty much every night. But I'm just really enjoying resting - and everything that comes with it. Which includes being spontaneous with my days and sometimes forgetting to blog. 

Anyway, I really feel like blogging today. 
And I thought I would join the bandwagon and do a Friday Favorites post! 

My favorites this week??

1. Baking sugar cookies with my best friend. 

2. My yellow blazer. And scarves!

3. Eggnog lattes. I seriously love eggnog. Like, can't get enough of the stuff. My sister in law told me that once she took a sip of eggnog and there was a whole egg yoke in it. 
Didn't change my sentiments in the least. 

Also, Starbucks should probably start sponsoring bloggers. The blog world is obsessed with it and there is no better advertisement than a picture of a steaming hot extra foamy latte on a blog post. Just saying.

4. This book. I've read it before, but it's life-changing every time. This is what I'm passionate about. 

5. Fitness classes at the gym. After I finished my really hard cross training bike workout Tues (yes, still dealing with my achilles issues), I got inspired to try out a Piyo class. I was exhausted, but I have always wanted to take a fitness class, and it was just starting. Result? So much fun. I love working out with a whole bunch of older ladies and doing strength/ballet/yoga/cardio stuff. 
Honestly, I don't know what it was. But how fun!!!

6. This picture of my nephew. I miss him, and my sister and bro in law, terribly.

7. And lastly, this:

Have a lovely Friday!!!


Friday, December 14, 2012

On Light.

John 8:12

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

Today was a good day, for me

I got to do a running workout for the first time in two weeks, and my achilles didn't have any pain. I went to an amazing Bible study, and then to lunch at Whole Foods with friends. After that I did some Christmas shopping. 
Pretty great day, I'd say. 

But on the other side of the country, 
it was the absolute worst day for some people. 

The shooting in Connecticut that occurred this morning 
is being called the worst school tragedy in this nation's history. 

Isn't it crazy how it could simultaneously be the best day of one person's life and the worst day of someone else's? 

I cannot help but feel sick about this. The world has so much darkness, and it's easy to feel overwhelmed by it. 

But I cannot help but think about the analogy of darkness and light. The darker it gets, the brighter a candle glows. The darkness does not diminish it. It makes it grow brighter. And when light enters a room, darkness disappears. 

God's love is like that light. 

I am going to put to rest right now any argument that God caused this horrible tragedy to happen. He did not. Some confused and hurt individual made a choice that cost the lives of others. 

But God does promise that He is our rock in the midst of turmoil. Our light in the darkness. 
And His love burns deeply for every single person in that situation. 

His light burns brighter in this darkness we encountered today. And He will make everything work together for the good... 
which only He could ever possibly do. 

I watched a documentary two nights ago called "Furious Love", and it seriously changed my life. God literally loves every single person. And His love has nothing to do with our faith. And His love transforms hearts and rescues people. And it is light to this world

For some people, today is the darkest day of their lives. I pray with all my heart that God's love overwhelms them. 

Psalm 61:1-4 

O God, listen to my cry!
    Hear my prayer!
From the ends of the earth,
    I cry to you for help
    when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
    for you are my safe refuge,
    a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
    safe beneath the shelter of your wings! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Survey!

The last few days, I have been really in the Christmas mood. 
Not like I haven't been in the Christmas mood since August, but the thing is, when you start listening to Christmas music in the summer it's hard to keep the momentum going. Christmas cheer is back in my heart, though, thanks to Delilah on 107.9 light fm and some Elf watching/peppermint bark making. 

And so I thought I would do a fun Christmas survey that I have seen floating around out in the blog world. Here goes!!

1.  Favorite Christmas Album/CD/Song?
I really love the classics. Like "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem" and songs like that. 

But I used to be a ballerina, for like nine years....

And now that I think about it though- the Nutcracker music is better than all of it!!!

2.  Run on Christmas morning or take the day off?
I'll be taking the day off for sure! I think my training schedule has me doing a long run on Christmas Eve, anyway. I'm not doing anything on Christmas!

3.  What do you usually eat on Christmas morning?
We always have a big breakfast. Usually there are eggs, coffee cake, and other brunch items. 
This year I really want cinnamon rolls!!!

4.  Favorite holiday or Christmas tradition?
When Liberty and I were little girls, we would always set our alarms for 3 a.m. on Christmas morning and wake up and open our stockings. Then we would hang around for awhile until we eventually crashed. One year, we tried to make breakfast in bed for our family and delivered toast with orange juice to all of their rooms promptly at 4 a.m. They were thrilled.

We are so cute thought, they couldn't say no!!

5.  Real tree, fake tree or no tree?
We always have a fake tree. Less mess. And you can keep it up for longer! 
I have absolutely no problem with that!

6.  Christmas pajamas… yay or nay?
Sure! Anything festive is right up my alley. Although I don't have any.

7.  Where do you spend the holidays?  Your own house, your parents’ house, extended family, in-laws, friends?
I spend it at my house with my parents and siblings and grandma. 
I would always prefer to be with family on Christmas.

We are missing a few members in this picture... last Christmas.

8.  Food that you always have during the holiday season?  Favorite Christmas food/treat?
We always make these AMAZING cookie bars called nanaimo bars (I always make up the spelling). They are unreal good and have so many ingredients they cannot help but be bad for you! But my favorite Christmas treat is always peppermint ice cream which they only ever sell around Christmas time. This is silly to me because during Christmas it's freezing and pepperminty creamy goodness should be available year round. 

9. Open presents all at once or take turns?  Stockings… yes or no?
Take turns. It extends it that way... and I want to watch people's expressions when they open their presents! Much more special. 

10.  Favorite Christmas(ish) movie?
I'd have to say White Christmas because it is a classic, and I know all the songs and watch it every year. 
But I love The Holiday SOOOO much, and it sort of has to do with Christmas :) 

Monday, December 10, 2012

I'm Proud of Myself

I'm proud of myself. 

Because today, I went out on a run. And I had absolutely no idea how long I would go. I was just going to listen to my body (or my achilles at this point) and stop when I felt irritation.

And at nine minutes, I felt it. Oh yes, I did. 

Unfortunately, I was still about 3/4 miles from the house. So I didn't have very many options except to walk back... in the cold. I jogged a little bit, but I mostly walked. 
I didn't want to screw up my achilles in any way. 

When I got home I spent some quality time with a rolling pin that is going to become my best friend while I'm on break, seeing as I have limited access to a 
marshmallow roller (or what ever those things are called). 

And then I went to the gym to cross train. Oh, the joys of cross training. Secretly I really like it, but I feel like I'm never doing enough, so it freaks me out. 

But another reason why I'm proud of myself...? 

I have been strangely calm about this whole situation. 

Old Susanna would have been freaking out that she couldn't run and her first 10k of the season is not too far away. But I have learned so much this year, and I realize that worrying about something I can't change is wasted energy. 

I'd rather spend that energy getting better. 

And shopping with my mom. 

And going to church!

And at fun Christmas parties!!!

It's all going to be okay. And I'm not just saying that. I know it!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ask And You Shall Receive

Oh hey, Christmas Break!
I barely recognized you, considering it's been 62 degrees outside (in Idaho??) the last week.

But seriously, it's about time.
I did well on all my finals, I packed my bags, and now I'm home!!!

I have a whole month off, and nothing puts you in the holiday mood more than a month of no school!!!
What will occupy my time, you ask? 

College applications, visits with coaches, and the likes. 

Catching up with old friends. 

Jury duty.

An end of the world party. 

Hallmark Christmas movies. 

And a lot of cross training - and hopefully running again soon. 

      Which brings me to today's story:
When I got home today, I went to my family's gym to donate a toy so I could get a month's membership (They did this deal last year, and especially since I'm injured and can't use my school's gym, I need a place to bike and lift weights). Well, they told me the deal wasn't in existence this year. That it was $50 for a month long membership!!!!

So what did I do? 
I simply went home, called one of the manager's, and very sweetly explained my situation to him. I didn't even ask for any favors... 
I just asked what my options were. 
But he gave me a free, month long pass!!!!

A similar thing happened a few weeks ago.

 I bought a pair of boots and only wore them a few times before they got ruined. It had been awhile since I had purchased them, but I decided to go in to the store and simply ask nicely if there was any way I could exchange them. I would not have been upset if they said no. I was just asking. And they were more than happy to exchange the pair!!! So I got new boots. 

The point is, if I would have never called the manager or never gone back to the store for the boots, I would be out about $100 right now. But I was nice and simply asked, and things worked out for me. 

The key is being nice, I suppose. 
But also, ask and you shall (sometimes) receive. 

At least, you'll receive more than if you never asked in the first place!!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Biggest Mistake a Runner Can Make

What is the biggest mistake a runner can make, you ask? 

Well, today I made it. 

Not listening to your body. 

I went out for an hour-long run this morning. After a week of not running due to my achilles tendonitis, I was so thrilled to get out and run with the sunrise. I felt fantastic - for about ten minutes. Then my achilles felt... slightly irritated. 

I emphasized slightly because it really was just that. I thought to myself "maybe I should just go a half an hour today and turn around?"... But no. The training schedule said an hour. It was beautiful out. I had a whole river loop planned. So I kept going. 

Needless to say, by the end of my run, I was not doing well. 

I went to my trainer. He yelled at me. 

I really should have known better. But it's so hard. I feel like I'm getting behind. My coach has been out of town and we won't have practice all of Christmas break, so we are just supposed to follow a training schedule. But I can't even do that. 

For anyone who knows me, this is the hardest thing. If my training schedule said to wake up at three a.m. and go run twenty miles followed by three hours of push ups, I would do it. (I exaggerate, but you get the point). 

I feel so... weak. So helpless. So... out of control. 
The worst part is, it's my fault. Because I didn't listen to my body today. 

But it's okay. I guess I'll just go back to biking tomorrow. I have to simulate a hill workout... so it will be an intense session!!!

Any other athletes understand what I'm talking about? 
Any non athletes that have had similar experiences out there? 
I'd love to hear your advice. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Two Days

Just two days, friends. 

Just two days, one guitar class, one test, one oral report, and two practices stand between me and Christmas break. A month long Christmas break. It will be glorious!!!!!

I had a lovely and refreshing weekend, and I'm now ready to power out these last two days of the term. 

Saturday, I got up super to swim at the local pool. When you can't run, and the school gym is closed, that's your option. But I loved it. I was the only one there under 65 (because what kind of college student gets up at six a.m. on a Saturday to go swim laps?), but it was so fun! Great cardio. 

Then I went and got free coffee (courtesy of my friend at our new Dutch Bros) and drove to watch my best friend Christi (who goes to college in Portland) race at the indoor track about an hour away from my school but only fifteen minutes away from my parents' house. Her team was here for the first indoor meet of the season. She is a sprinter, and she is REALLY fast. I love it because we always get to 

She's my favorite. This picture is not. Haha. 

I spent the rest of the afternoon studying and finishing up papers at Starbucks. But I mean, if you are going to study, it might as well be at your favorite coffee shop. 

I decided to go home (to my parents') after that, since I was just a few minutes away. I didn't really feel like going back to school or driving a long time. 
I spent the evening relaxing with my mom under the Christmas tree. 

And today, before I headed back to good old O-town, I did some Christmas shopping/studying in downtown Boise. I love it there so much. I may have grown up in a small town, but I love exploring cities. I think that's why I want to move to London so badly. 

Anyway, my achilles seems to be healing up, it's finally December, and I absolutely cannot wait for a month of Christmas cookie baking, sleeping in, and hanging out with this beautiful girl! 

I love my little sister.

Have a lovely Monday!!!!