Saturday, March 31, 2012

Count-down to Cleanse

So, tomorrow the vegan goodness commences.  I wish I could be more excited.  Instead, I'm frantically wondering where the last month went, and how it's gone by so fast.  I didn't get to do any of my usual "prepare for vegan-ness" things that I count on, like planning out 2 weeks worth of meals, meal add-ons, and snacks (being vegan makes me a VERY hungry girl... like, I eat constantly!).  I haven't been to the store yet to stock up on the essentials, although I did start a list of said essentials.

...And then I remember, it's a cleanse.  It's about quieting the mind, healing the body.  Why in the world would I want to get frantic???

Vegan Kristen, you did so much cool stuff, non-vegan Kristen misses you.  A lot.
I've done the vegan-ness before.  I know what's coming.  Instead of freaking out, maybe I should try calm acceptance.  So what if the first few days are not perfect?  I will not die because I had a piece of cheese.  During my 2 years of vegetarian, I didn't deny myself if I wanted some sort of animal product.  I had it, I dealt with the stomach ache, and I moved on.  I didn't stress about it once I was in that lifestyle.

There is something about this diet for me that allows for a lot more self-love and self-acceptance.  It's all good, once I'm there, and I have everything under control.  Probably why what was supposed to be a 3 month cleanse turned into almost 2 years of meat-free goodness.  Despite my love of cow, of bacon, of In-N-Out burger (I know it's cow, but it's so much more than that too), I learned that I loved myself more, and I felt better when I left those things for sparing treats.
My Thursday lunch destination.  Oops...

That's what I'm most looking forward to -- not the possibility of weight loss, not the vitality, the energy, but the encompassing sense of wellness it brings.

Have you ever felt this?  Ever found that one thing that makes your world snap into focus and just start to work perfectly?  What was is?

Friday, March 30, 2012


So, for a late-night, last-minute post, I decided to give in to peer pressure and join Twitter.  I have no clue how to work it, but would love any advice!  If you would like to follow me (because who wouldn't want to follow someone who has no idea what they're doing?), my screen name is RadiantKristen.

Happy late Friday night/early Saturday morning!

Realized Dreams

So, after the heaviness of yeterday's post (which, by the way, I have been obsessing over.  I hope you don't think I was seeking pity!), we're lightening up a lot today.  As many dreams as I still have, I know that I am living so many great dreams already, and it's important to acknowledge that.  How often do we remark that we're "living the dream", but we are being sarcastic?  I know I'm guilty.  But really, I'm lucky.  Here's why:

I have stable employment that not only pays me, but also provides me with an AMAZING place to live.

 My work situation has allowed for A to go back to school without having to work.  We are so glad for this, because he's majoring in Chemistry, and spends the majority of his waking hours studying.  Without my job, school would be much more of a struggle.

I could get B to do this...
I am able to take classes for yet another degree online.  As tough as the classes are for me, and as much free time as they take up, I'm still able to work and improve myself at the same time.

We have a cat who acts decidedly dog-like, and is a total lover.

I have the most supportive readers!  You guys are so kind and wonderful, and I am so blessed that you stop by for a chat every now and then.

I hope that today you get a moment to stop and realize the dreams that you are living right now!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dreams and Fears

Today's post is less about dreams, and more about the fears that get in the way of living a dream.  Fear is such a powerful, all encompassing thing.  There is a multi-million dollar industry that is devoted to teaching us how to overcome our fears.  How to live live to our greatest, boldest potential.


I'm not here to write a self-help book.  I'm here to admit that I live with fear every day.  That I'm a 'fraidy-cat worry-wart.  I obsess about nearly every detail of my life.  And I am 80% of the time convinced that these dreams I have are too big for me.  That I need to "fix" things about myself before I'm worthy of the dreams I have.


Please understand that this is not my rational brain.  This is some deep-seeded internal programming.  My mom and I talked about it on our trip to Steamboat, about how I have this drive to be perfect, and how I punish myself when I fail.  How I insist on being self-reliant, because I see assistance as an admission of weakness and failure.  And guys, it's slowly killing my ability to achieve my dreams.  It isn't taking away from the dreams I have, it is just setting them further and further out of reach.


I don't have an answer about setting aside the fear, the inadequacies.  If I did, I'd be stinkin' rich.  I struggle with this every day.  A and I just had a fight about my inability to accept help, in fact.  I do know that I need to keep moving forward, with those dreams at the front of my mind.  That whether I think I deserve it or not, no matter how many mountains rise up along the path, I need to keep plugging away, one step at a time.  At some point, once I see how far I have come, I hope that I can accept with grace the wonderful dreams that I have made come true.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Workin' It out

Happy Wednesday!  Man, the last few days have been R.O.U.G.H. around our neck of the woods.  A lot of crazy, not fun stuff going on.  But I know that in order to experience joy and happiness, you've got to acknowledge and accept the bad too.  For everything a season and all of that business.

That's not what we're talking about today.  Sorry for straying.  Today we're talking about work-outs.  So far I am 1.5 weeks into my 6 week 5k training schedule.  As of now, the "running" days have been really easy.  During week 1, all of the walk-run workouts are 20 minutes, and the longest you run for in the whole week is 6 minutes on Sunday (in 2 minute increments).  In week 2, the first run has 5 minutes of running, and the second has 6 (both in 1 minute increments).  Week 2 walk-run workouts are 25 minutes.  The best part of this exercise plan for me is how incremental and slow it is.  I feel like one day I am just going to be so surprised when I am able to run for 5 minutes straight, because it is just going to creep up on me!  On the down-side, this takes immense patience.  It's easy to feel like you aren't "doing enough" when you are only running for 5 minutes out of 25 total!

I've also modified the Tues/Thurs workouts.  The plan calls for weight training, but those are swimming days, and I'm not about to double down on swimming days.  That's just nonsense.  Because swimming can actually count as a light resistance program (swimming through water creates a decent amount of resistance), I feel justified in leaving off those strength workouts. 

In swimming news, things are going so well!  Our "short" workouts have been averaging 1700 yards... about what our long workouts were in February!  We're also up to 2200 yards on the distance days.  To give you all some perspective on this, 1850 yards is approx one mile, and is considered a swimmer's mile.  One swimmer's mile burns the same number of calories as running 5 miles, or biking 10 miles!  It feels great to know that something I enjoy is reaping such huge health benefits for me at the same time.

Maybe more important though, is knowing that exercise is an important coping mechanism for dealing with stress.  If I weren't working out, I would probably be getting physically ill from stress right now.  While I have been feeling a little off lately, I know it could be much worse, and I am so glad that I have a method that will help me feel better each and every day.

Are you working with a training plan right now?  Do you like the plan you are using?  Or are you anti-plan?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why I choose to dream

I hear people tell me too often that "I want it all" and that I just need to be "more realistic" about what's achievable in life.  I hate that.  I want to grumble meanly at those people.  Mostly, I just ignore what they have to say.  I shouldn't have to justify myself and the person I am so that people will like and accept me.

Our dreamer faces... or not

And let's face it;  what is life without dreams?

I love hearing about the dreams of others.  I want to know what makes their heart smile just to think about it.  To now what a person dreams of is to know that person infinitely better.

So the next time someone tells you to get your head on the clouds and to start living in reality, ignore them.  But more importantly, STOP sharing your dreams with them!  Your dreams are precious and important, too much so to share them with someone who does not believe in you. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Big, Fat...

DREAMS!  When I thought about what topics I wanted to write about this week, I kept coming back to my dreams for the future, and all of the wacky ideas that bounce around in my brain.  I really loved getting personal with you guys last week, and decided to push the envelope further this week.  I'm warning all of you now, I don't dream small.  My dreams are huge, and I won't hesitate to admit that I want to do it all.  There is very little about this amazing world that we live in that I don't want to embrace with my entire existence (except for drugs, murder, crime...  those I can do without).  So today I'm going to share what those dreams are.  I am going to try not to elaborate on my dreams, my plans, my reasoning today, because I would be here all week, and you would have moved on to better blogs.  But I would love to get interactive with you.  I want to dig deeper into the dreams you want to hear about.  So at the end of this post, please tell me what dream you want to hear more about, and then I'll write more about that subject later this week.  Sound good to you?  Awesome!

At ice cream on Friday night, 'cause we're wacky like that

I want to marry this guy and have babies with him.  2 babies, to be exact.  And then I want to adopt a special needs kiddo with him.

We want to buy fixer-upper houses, live in them while we're fixing them up, then buy a different house and rent out the one we've just fixed up.  Once we have 2-3 rentals, we would like to build our dream home.

Our dream home has a working title of "Prarie-dog Manor", because we want to live in a buried house!  We want to have up to 20 acres, have tons of out-buildings, and a hobby farm.  We also have plans for the manor to be sustainable and off the grid.

We want to home school our kids.

We are in love with the idea of living cooperatively with your neighbors.  I dream of being able to trade with my neighbors for anything we can't produce for ourselves.

I dream of working part-time, or of working part-time from home, part time at the office once we have kids.

I dream of teaching our kids sustainable skills, like gardening, cooking, sewing, woodworking, home maintenance, etc.  I want my kids to be able to care for themselves and their things.

We want to have a huge travel fund and take advantage of it.

We want to live 100% debt free.

If we ever retire, we don't want to have to worry about anything.  We'd probably retire in the city somewhere after living in the country for many years.  After all that work, I want to live some leisure. 

What dreams do you have for your future?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

6 words

Have you heard of 6 word memoirs?  I've seen them before, and always thought it was a great idea.  There are entire anthologies filled with people's own 6 word memoirs!  I think it would be such a cool thing to write your memoir each year, and see how they change over time.  What a journey!

I started thinking about what my own memoir of right now would be.  Where am I?  What am I doing?  What am I seeking?  This is what I came up with:

Seeking delight and radiance every moment.

What would your 6 word memoir be?  I can't wait to hear it!  I hope you are having an exquisite Sunday!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


 This week just flew by!  I was having so much fun with blog positivity week that I honestly don't know where the last 5 days have gone.  It was great to be able to find so many positive, wonderful women in the blogging community that I previously didn't know existed.

...And I must say, A and I got a huge chuckle out of the fact that after my post on Tuesday about loving having a tiny blog, I welcomed 3 new followers!  We are so happy to have you here, Alice, Courtney, and Mrs. G!

Oh my gosh people, what do your trees look like right now?  All of the trees around our complex have leaf buds popping up!  It is so pretty!  I'm pretty sure people have taken to pointing and laughing when they see me, because I have taken to wandering aimlessly while looking up at the trees.  There is something about spring, about how trees revive themselves from their long sleep that fills me with wonder every. single. year.  And is there a color more pretty than that of a little baby leaf?  I say no.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thank you for being a friend

Today is the last day of blog positivity week.  It has been so much fun, I'm sad to see it go!

But, I must say, readers, other bloggers who respond to comments I leave, thank you.  Thank you.  THANK YOU!  As funny as it is, real life can seem so isolating at times.  Sometimes you don't feel like you really fit in.  But our here on the world wide interwebs, all of a sudden you don't feel so alone.  Somebody comments on the completely random, disjointed post you wrote, and you know that they got it.  That at some point they have been in that same head space, and probably totally got what you were trying to do with that post.  That you wanted to show people the way you think about life.

I have to say thank you to the bloggers out there that I read.  It means a lot to me when you respond to my comments, and even now and then come check out my own blog to see what I'm about.  I love feeling like I have connected with you on some level.

But really, I want to give it up for my friends and family, who don't really get this whole blogging thing, but read anyway.  You guys rock.  I hope you're glad that my ramblings have a place to go now besides into half-listening ears!

I'm signing off today with a very unflattering picture of B and I doing what we do best:  snuggling while I try to get ANYTHING done at the computer.  I hope you don't mind, but I didn't do my hair or put on make-up for you.  I'm treating you like my best friends and family already, I hope you appreciate it!
Have a fantastic Friday!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Self care

So, even though you're reading this on Thursday, it's really Wednesday night as I'm writing this.  It was a long day.  I never got my mojo at work.  But then I came home, and I had something to look forward to.  You see, my massage therapist comes to my house to give me amazing hour long massages.  It is, quite possibly, my favorite thing ever.  Ian has been my therapist for nearly 3 years now.  He was still an intern the first time I got a massage from each other.  And over time, he's turned out to be someone I can count on to help me restore sanity.

Speaking of friends, this is Shae, my childhood best friend.  Totally unrelated to this blog post

Self care is a big reason why I blog.  I needed a place to talk about the things my friends, family, and coworkers are sick of hearing me talk about.  I needed a place where I could let some of the crazy out.

This is a really old picture I took when I dated a hippie who lived in the woods and completely changed my perceptions of life
Thank you, ladies, for putting up with my particular brand of crazy (even when it means pictures that have nothing to do with what I'm talking about) .  I'm honored you read, and even respond, to what I have to say.  It helps my sanity more than you could ever know.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Garden goodness

Happy Wednesday!  I'm so glad you came by today.  I want to talk about gardening today.  Because, well, there's nothing quite like getting dirty, is there?

Now, I have to confess.  I do not have a yard.  Or a garden of my own.  I have a windowsill, with a very functional plant ledge that A made for me out of spare lumber.  We didn't even stain/seal it.  Right now I have some sad looking sage and a baby aloe plant hangin' out on the ledge.  But this isn't the gardening y'all should care about.  My friend Viv (yes, the same one who owns my favorite little shop) has the very best yard/garden I have ever seen.  She is gracious enough to let me help her tend it, in exchange for enjoying the peace of her yard and all of its bounty.

My little ledge
Miss Viv over by the main vegetable garden

Last year, she was busy getting married.  She decided to get married in her back yard, and that we should re-landscape the whole thing.  It took up lots of time, and our veggies were not what we had hoped.  But this year, Viv and I have big plans for this garden.

In case you are wondering, the weather has been unseasonably warm in Northern Colorado this year.  We are already seeing the Crocuses and the Hyacinths, and our roses are even starting to green up!  If you have perennials, you should probably go check to see which ones are saying hello to you.  We always start with a huge garden clean-up.  Despite our best efforts to do a lot of this in the fall, there always seems to be so much more to do come early spring.  We pulled out the remaining sunflowers.  Cut down the pompous grass.  Ripped out the raspberry bushes that curiously will not bear fruit.  Found out that (surprise!) the strawberries are already coming in.

We also did some planting.  Last year, we started our lettuce on the spring equinox, and had a great crop.  Even though the first day of spring was yesterday, we decided to go for it anyway.  We decided that we would do our early lettuce in the raised bed planter A built for Viv last spring, since it has the best soil, and is the easiest to work. 

A stinky, composted mess
We added some leaves that had been decomposing in one of the two ponds over the winter to the soil before we turned it.  If you have a weak stomach for smells, get someone else to do this step for you, or use a commercial compost/fertilizer.


Then the fun part began!  We decided to break up the bed into 7 different zones, and planted a different kind of lettuce in each zone.  We marked each zone with a cut pinwheel tag, so we would know what's supposed to be growing where.  And then for even more fun, we planted a row of spring onions that bisects the entire bed.  Sometimes we get a little carried away on garden days.

We're tagging all of our plants with pinwheels this year, just to make everything more cheerful.  How do you tag your plants if you garden?  Or do you just scatter seeds and wait to see what pops up where?  Do you have plants already popping out of the ground?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

This Tiny Blog

For day 2 of After Nine to Five's blog positivity week, I want to talk about size.  When I first started blogging I had these delusions illusions that my blog would grow really quickly, and I would want to advertise with others, guest post all the time, be a big, heavy hitting blog.

I quickly found out that I really didn't want that at all.  In fact, I feel comfortable enough with you all to let you in on a dirty secret of mine:  I love how teeny-tiny my blog is.  I really do.  I love that my 12th follower joined up yesterday (holla to KC!  Welcome!).  I love that on an exceptionally good day, my page gets 15-20 hits.  All of these are all right by me, because I honestly have enjoyed getting to know the beautiful women who stop be, read what I have to say, and respond to the discussion.  I love getting to know you.  I know that there are so many other blogs you could be reading, so many other things you could be doing in general, and to know that I am part of your day means the world to me.

From Pinterest
I know I've shared this particular image before, but it bears repeating, because you wonderful ladies and gents are more than enough.  And I am so lucky to have the opportunity to get to know you all.

PS- I have some nice garden updates to share with you soon.  And I'm pretty sure that this whole running thing might work out too.  But we'll have to talk about that some other time.

PPS- Remember how I said I love our discussions?  I really mean it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

5k update and accountabilibty

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had an amazing weekend, and are ready to tackle the challenges this week may bring.  On Saturday, I did the 5k.  I had decided it was important to see where my health and fitness were before I started a running training program.  Around our house, we are nerds who love to track things. 

Click here to see my plan!

Well, the results are in, and my 5k starting point is 41 minutes.  My average speed was about 4.6 mph.  I'm pretty happy with this.  I told myself going in that I needed to be under 45 minutes, and I am very glad to have blown that mark away.  So the next step is to start training.  I found a 6 week beginner training program from Women's Health magazine that I'm going to be following, and I've set a very audacious goal:  In 6 weeks, I want to finish a 5k in 30 minutes or less (or it's free!... Not really).

All of this leads me to talking about blog positivity week (in a roundabout way).  Ashley from After Nine to Five is encouraging everyone this week to focus on the positive aspects of the blogging community.  Today I want to talk about accountability.  It's not just for church, or weight watchers.  I know that by writing my blog, and sharing with all of you, I am going to be held accountable for the things that I say I'm going to do.  I feel like I have support, encouragement, and the accountability that I need to meet my life goals.

If you haven't headed over to meet Ashely yet, and see what blog positivity week is all about, please do.  I don't think you'll be sorry you took the time.  Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Snow day!

A, mom and I are going to be enjoying this today:

And since you won't be able to join us, I figured I'd make some hot chocolate to keep y'all warm today.

Via Pinterest
While you're sipping away, take a second to let me know what you're looking forward to this week.  Oh, and have a macaroon.  I made those special too =).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Things I Love...

Happy Saturday!  As you're reading this, I'm sure I'm off on some random adventure.  I'll try to take some pictures, but honestly, I'm usually enjoying life too much to stop and snap a photo.  Sigh.  I thought I would share with you some things that I'm loving now.  I hope you enjoy!

Fresh Bread
Arts and crafts project for our bedroom
My Covert Robin project, almost halfway done.  Can you guess what I'm making?
House that we LOVE
Another house we love, across the street from the brick one
Our dream house to fix up and rent out
Our dream house to fix up and keep as a "Weekend house" when we're loaded
A chainsaw cat sculpture... I don't love it, but it's funny!
Other things I'm loving now:
When I picked up my race packet for today, there was a $500 gift card for a new sunglasses company inside.  Score!
This weather.  I have even been able to get A out to take walks with me after work.
Doing Ashtanga yoga again.  It's my favorite form, and I had been avoiding it until I was stronger.  This was my first week back, it felt amazing.
Connecting with so many amazing people through the blogging community.  I love that I am able to hear so many unique stories!

I hope your Saturday is full of many beautiful things!

Friday, March 16, 2012


I'm not always so pumped for Fridays.  We have a rotating schedule at work where we work 2 out of 3 Saturdays.  But this is my scheduled 3 day weekend, and I have Saturday, Sunday, and Monday off!  Since this is so amazing and awesome, I thought I would do the "Friday Letters" link up this week, since I was so excited to tell you about my jam packed weekend anyways =).

Dear Weekend,
We are going to have so much fun over the next 3 days.  Are you as excited as I am?  First thing tomorrow morning we are going to do the 5k that benefits Partners Mentoring Youth.  After that, we're going to get A to take us to Dempsey's for the yummiest breakfast ever.  Saturday night, we are going to my parent's house for dinner and to spend the night because... Sunday is skiing day!  That's right, weekend, we're all going to Copper for some super awesome almost-spring skiing.  But Monday is going to be super-special too, weekend.  You get a bonus day, because I will be donning a cute hippie-skirt and spending my first day of the season helping Viv get the garden ready.  There will be good music, iced tea, food, and twirling.  I know you just can't wait, weekend.  I can't wait either.

Dear Garden,
It's been a long time since I was able to cultivate you.  I'm so glad it's time again.  We are going to have an epic growing season, I promise.

Dear A,
I'm sorry you have to get up early both Saturday and Sunday, but I promise it'll be super fun anyway.  I wouldn't invite you if I didn't love spending so much time with you!

Dear 5k,
Please don't kick my tail.  I know I didn't train, but I really want to see where I'm at before I start training.   I hope you understand.

Dear Sewing machine,
I'm glad we've been getting a little bit of time together this month.  I want more.  I love you.

What letters are you writing this weekend?  Do you have any big plans, or are you actually **gasp** sleeping in and relaxing?  I don't seem to know how to do that...


Thursday, March 15, 2012


Miss Nay over at Cover to Cover... and Everything in Between was talking about secrets the other day.  Big, deep, heavy secrets.  How sometimes those secrets need to stay hidden, because they hurt more when you talk about them.

I totally dig that.  Especially in this big, scaring world of blogging.  Anyone who writes a blog about their own life and experiences puts a lot out there, and assumes a certain amount of acceptance between themselves and their readers.  But I, personally, wouldn't say that I trust the internet at large with a big, juicy secret.  I trust you, readers, with a lot, but then there are people who come along who aren't regular readers, people who maybe... wouldn't understand this dynamic.

I totally dig it in real life too.  Those big secrets, even if they're old, you can't just give them to anyone.  It costs something to go there.  It is great if you can find a confidant, but to find someone you trust with information that defined and shaped a pivotal time in your life isn't easy.  It takes time.  Those aren't the things you give up on day one, after year one.  Those aren't the friends tht come along every day either.

I also think it's important to appreciate the people in your life who can fill that role.  I am so lucky that A is one of those people I can trust with my shadows.  That he can appreciate me more for the things I have experienced.  Thanks A, for letting me trust you always.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nice words

At work yesterday, someone told me that they thought that an idea I had was stupid.  It really hurt my feelings.  Not because I thought the idea was particularly brilliant, but because they actually used the word stupid.  I stewed for a long time about that, about how I felt.  Why I felt that way.  If I should confront this person about the way they phrased their dislike of my idea.

I eventually decided that I should let it go.  Not because I want to be passive, but because I realized I have probably said things to this co-worker that were equally damaging without even thinking about it.  That she was trying to express her most honest opinion, and it wasn't meant to insult my intelligence.

If every time I was about to say something potentially damaging I stopped, thought, and said the same thing in a nicer way, how would things turn out?  Could I avoid more conflicts?  Or would people take this as a form of weakness?

From Pinterest
As a kid, it is hard to really understand how important the golden rule is.  As we get older, I think the value in this grows.  There are so many times when I could be better at this.  When I need to be better at this.  It's never easy, but it does make life more enjoyable on the whole.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


What motivates you?  The above was a major source of motivation for me the first time I lost a whole bunch of weight.  I was so, so, so very obsessed about showing everyone how amazing I looked.  It seems very petty now, and so insignificant. 

Then I saw this.  This resonates with me, as I have really started getting back into yoga again after a long break.  I remember that just before I quit last time, I was doing some pretty cool stuff.  I usually walked out of the yoga studio feeling unstoppable.  And yet, I still managed to quit.

I'm still trying t find my motivation.  Motivation strong enough to keep me going, something meaningful and with purpose.  I would love to hear what motivates you, or what has motivated you in the past, too!

Monday, March 12, 2012


Yesterday, I made bread.

In this picture, one loaf is already missing, because A really loves hot, fresh bread.  I really love the practicality of making my own bread.  The total cost for all 5 loaves was somewhere around $3.50.  My home felt warm, and smelled amazing.  And there is something incredibly therapeutic about taking out your frustrations on a hapless ball of dough.

It got me thinking about Bread-winners versus bread makers, and the pressure put on women by society to do it all.  The pressures that women put on themselves to do it all.

I decided that should I ever need to choose one of those roles over the other, I will choose to be the bread maker.  Not because I dislike work (I really love to work, in fact), but because to buy just one loaf of similar quality bread would have cost more than I spent to make 5.  Because I know what is going into our bodies when I make our bread.  And because there are just some wonderful homemade skills that should never be forgotten.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Do you Endomondo?

Happy Sunday!

So, has anyone other than me heard of Endomondo?  It's a fitness/workout tracker for garmin devices and Droid phones.  I heart it.  Not just because it tracks my workouts, but because there's this whole social networking, monthly challenges side of it.  You find your friends on there, and all of a sudden, you all can see each others' workouts, and help each other stay accountable to getting it done each week.

And the challenges, people.  If you're anything like me, you love a good challenge.  You love to compete, even if you are well aware that you probably won't win.  But the sad news is, I have one friend on Endomondo.  It's A, and he doesn't even use it for anything.  So the only challenges I participate in right now are the ones open to everyone.

From Pinterest

If you have a Droid phone, will you Endomondo with me?  We can do challenges together.  I would really love to do monthly challenges, and feature the winner on my blog each month, and then give them a cute as heck, non fitness related prize!  I am really excited about this idea.  Please tell me you are too.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Holistic Health

I realized that I've talked a lot about holistic health, but never my definition of that phrase.  How odd!  I also realize I have talked about a few of the things I learned at IIN, but never why I wanted to enroll there in the first place, or why I subsequently chose to not open a Health Counseling practice of my own.  I have been meaning to talk about these things, and for whatever reason, have just never gotten around to it.  Don't worry, we aren't talking about all of these things today!

Today I just want to share with you my definition of holistic health.  I'm guessing that if you've been here before, you could figure it out just by the things I talk about.  But for those who are new, here is what I think:

Holistic health means living out your most radiant, glorious dreams every day.  It means finding that perfect balance where you and you alone feel your best.  This transcends diet, exercise, illness, or infirmity.  Holistic health does not conform to one definition of what is "right".  Instead, it encompasses physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. 

So now that I've told you what holistic health means to me, please tell me what it means to you!

Friday, March 9, 2012


When I was studying Health Counseling, the founder of the school, Joshua Rosenthal, explained the following about health:  Health is not some arbitrary destination, nor is it necessarily a journey.  Health is a vehicle by which one lives their life.  There may be a journey towards health if one is not in possession of good health, but one should not simply be satisfied to have their health.  They should use health to live their dreams.

From Pinterest

This rocked me to my core.  I was running at the gym the first time I heard the lecture that introduced this concept.  I thought that I got this.  I mean, live life to the fullest, right?  Enjoy health!

I totally didn't get it until recently.  Until my mom got cancer, and her new 'do got rather... aerodynamic.  Despite all of this, my mom hasn't stopped.  She has slowed down some, but the woman is still rockin' it.  She's still working on the non-profit she's worked with since my brother and I were young.  She's still running all kinds of errands.  And peeps, my mom is still skiing.  In fact, on Monday when we went skiing she was willing to keep skiing when I was ready to be done.  She didn't want to take a lot of breaks, and even when we did take breaks, they were short.

I couldn't believe it.  Yesterday, she had chemo treatment 3 of 4, and in 3 weeks, she will complete her last chemo treatment before she begins 5 weeks of radiation.  I truly, honestly hope that radiation does not take that away from her.  Because she does more with the health she currently has than most people who aren't fighting cancer.

Booyah, momma.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


For whatever reason, I wake up every single morning between 4 and 4:30.  That's am, people.  I feel like I should tell you, this is not by choice.  My alarm goes off at 5:30am (so much better, I know).

A far cuter bedroom than mine, from Pinterest

I would love to know why I wake up every morning at this time.  Honestly, I have no clue.  Most of the time, I go back to sleep.  Yesterday morning, I decided to roll with it.  I was headed skiing with my mom, and she had indicated that the earlier we left, the happier she would be.  So, when I sat straight up at 4:30, I got out of bed for a change, and got ready.  I made coffee, ate breakfast, got everything ready to go and left the house.  I fully expected my parents to be awake and happy to see me.  Guess what?  They were still asleep.  It was so strange, I knew I had to blog about.  People, not since I was 7 years old on a major holiday have I been awake before my parents.  It never happens.

Am I the only person who wakes up an hour before their alarm?  Do you have some weird sleep thingie too?

Random note:  The cat likes to sit with A and I when we're working at our computers.  He accidentally just scratched me, and likes to add his two cents to my blog posts.  So if you ever see a random typo, please assume that it's Mr. Beckham just saying hey.

Monday, March 5, 2012


**All of the cute mailboxes are from pinterest, because I live in an apartment with a boring, sad mailbox.  I may have started a board just for mailboxes.  Don't judge me**


I love getting mail.  No, not junk mail.  Not bills.  I like cards.  Letters.  Save the dates. Birth announcements. Invitations.  I hate that facebook and email take these things away from me.  Anymore, I find out about engagements, wedding dates, and bundles of joy via a status update on facebook.  How sad is that?


There is something magical about a piece of real mail.  Knowing that somebody took the time to put something on paper.  Even if mine is exactly the same as everyone else's, they had to stuff the envelope.  Put the address labels on, and stamp the envelope.  That piece of mail is so personal, even if it's not super personal. 


Even better is the handwritten note.  It doesn't have to be a long note.  It doesn't have to be the nicest penmanship.  But when you write a note to someone, you have to think about it.  You don't want to have to cross anything out and make it look ugly, so you take your time.  Maybe you even use that pen that for whatever reason makes your handwriting look infinitely better.


That's why I have the goal to send cards to people telling them how much I appreciate them.  I could easily send an email.  I send emails and write comments to bloggers all the time thanking them for posts.  But for those people I really have gotten to know, my friends and family, they deserve the intimacy of a card.  One that I pick out just for them.

I hope that someday a few bloggers make it onto my handwritten card list.  Having a blog is kind of like waving a big piece of your life in the air for anyone and everyone to see.  It's very revealing, and it can be really scary.  Why do I do it?  I think it's in hopes that I will find others to join my tribe.  I'm a little kooky, a lot hippie, and undeniably me.  And I am seeking understanding with like-minded people who want to send me mail too.