dancing the night away.

What pulled me through yesterday’s 12 mile run:

  • Your comments!  Talk about some serious motivation.
  • Mind tricks.  I pretended that I had a rope tied around my waist and that my dad was pulling me.  This didn’t work so well when he disappeared from view, but the visual cue was still there.  It worked!
  • Bottling some energy for the last 2-mile stretch.  Another mind trick.  I didn’t “open” that bottle of energy until I needed it the most.
  • Praying!  Random people popped into my head during the run.  Twelve miles offers a lot of time to think and pray. 😀
Everything ached by the end of the run, but I was incredibly ecstatic all at the same time.  I’ve never run this far before and I never thought I could do this.  THANK YOU for all of the motivation and inspiration! 😀
And then I partied the night away at my cousin’s wedding. 😀
AJ and Stacey’s Wedding: A Photo Montage

(p.s. The secret to wearing heels when you’ve never been a “heel wearer” is to invest in a pair of comfortable wedges.  The front of these shoes was a good 1 inch or so off the ground, so even though it was giving me height, there were no weird angles!)

There’s never a normal picture with my brother and I.  Somehow we always feel the need to make funny faces. 😉

Reusable place setting tags…LOVE it!

Love.

I. Heart. Wedding. Cake.  :mrgreen:

Congratulations, Stacey and AJ!!  The wedding was absolutely beautiful and everyone had such a blast!

QUESTION: What is your favorite thing about weddings (besides the food! 😉 )

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Yes, I love birthdays.

Happy Birthday, Dad! 😀

Know what I love most about family birthday parties?  Well—I mean—aside from the food, of course.  I love the quiet excitement before the party actually even starts.  The table being set just so.  A candle or two being lit for a warm ambiance.  That first car that pulls into the driveway and the sounds of voices that are about to fill an empty, silent house.

This is what I love most about family birthdays.

Of course, in addition to all of that, it sure felt good to fire up the oven tonight.  This past week has left me craving a complete, full day of non-stop cooking.

Today: craving satisfied.

portabella mushrooms cooked in a balsamic reduction sauce

Everyone took part in making something.  I stood watch over the veggies and dad focused his attention on the meats.  Honestly, we all felt kind of bad having dad cook on his birthday, but he didn’t seem to really mind.  It would have felt just plain wrong to have someone else cooking the steaks and burgers, when we all know full and well that dad is the grill master in the family.

(p.s. I’m still using up the last of my garden cress…this stuff lasts and lasts, and I’ve been using it on everything from sandwiches to soups to hummus to burgers.  Quite delicious. )

Nicole @ Loving Simple Moments

Meanwhile, my mom was busy cooking the main dessert, which is her own top-secret homemade apple pie.  I’m not even a pie person, and yet I find myself falling in love with this pie time and time again.

The crust is what gets me.  Its tender and flaky, but not overly so (i.e., it doesn’t crumble into dust on your plate!)  And it avoids being dense and boring like some of those beautiful (but sadly poor-tasting) store bought pies can be.  It is, in one word, perfect.  Absolutely perfect.

I guess we all know who the star of the show was tonight. 😉

Yes.  I love birthdays.

I love the excitement, the laughing, the silliness, the games and the elaborate stories.  The feeling of warmth, of home, of happiness.  I love the cooking, the variety of foods and most of all, the sharing.  I love that it’s more than okay to spend 2 hrs at the dinner table.

I love how relaxed and unraveled the dinner table seems, after everyone has finished eating.  Crumbs.  Empty plates and half empty glasses.  That quiet, comforting feeling of being fully content with life.

Yes.  I love birthdays.

Happy Birthday, Dad!  We love you! 😀

QUESTION: What is your most memorable birthday?

New Years Eve

Happy New Years Eve!!!!

I love everything about New Years Eve.  In fact, if I didn’t love Thanksgiving and Christmas so much, I might even say that it’s my most favorite day of the year.

Nicole and Nate came over the house to celebrate over Chinese food. 

And then we headed right into playing a game called Apples to Apples. 

Nicole told me that this would be a friendly game.  Perfect for a competitive family like mine.  No fights or brauls or any of that sort of thing. 

And, really, I’m not much of a competitive person to begin with.  Not with running, school, or life in general.  I guess I never picked that trait up from the rest of the family.

But then I played this “no-feud game” and found myself growing increasingly stubborn and fierce.  I kind of surprised myself with how competitive I was feeling, arguing over each card that was selected.  Where did this girl come from?? :mrgreen:

Even still, there were no fights involved. 😉

My family wishes you the most wonderful of New Years!  Have fun, celebrate and enjoy each last moment of 2010.  And then welcome in the brand new year! 😀 

My Goals for 2011

  • Train for (and finish!) my first half marathon.
  • Introduce more strength training (2-3 times a week with a focus on core strength)
  • Read a book a month.  Dr. Seuss is to be used only as a last resort during a very busy month. 😉
  • Trust God more.
  • Become a Registered Dietitian and land a good job!!
  • Continue to learn how to enjoy each and every moment of life.
  • Hug more.  Smile more.  Frown less.  Take life less serious.
  • Include more Video Blogs and GiveAways on Running To Slow Things Down! 😀

Question: What are you doing to ring in 2011?