Saturday, April 20, 2013

What Running Teaches You About Life....

Even though I wasn’t in Boston, I know every time I lace up my shoes and head out the door for a run, it’ll be a different feeling. I know so far I have felt more appreciative of being able to go run, more confident in my ability to battle the upcoming mileage and more humbled when I have finished.
After the events this week, it was nice to spend time this morning with other runners and show support to those affected by the events that took place at the Boston Marathon. The IMT Des Moines Marathon Running Club hosted a Solidarity Run to send support to those in Boston. Hundreds of runners, both avid and casual, showed up for the one- to six-mile trek through downtown Des Moines. After sharing a moment of silence and listening to the national anthem, we headed out on the six mile run. This was just the start of the mileage I needed to cover for the day. My running buddies and I decided after the six, we’d continue running to complete our 8 for the day (well, 10 miles for the overachiever!).

It’s fun to look back and see how far I’ve come with my running. I started out as a sprinter in high school who didn’t understand the serenity and joy it could bring to my life (and wouldn’t run more than 200m). I have enjoyed traveling the neighborhood with our puppy — Crosby pushing me to go further each time — knowing hoping it would wear him out more. The great and not so great runs, the friendships, the races and the PRs…..A few years later and many halfs and races in-between, I still enjoy running and the comfort it brings to my life. And I can confidently say, I always will. Running has provided me with support, amazing friendships, confidence, and a lot of perspective on life. A friend sent me this link recently and it's crazy how many ring true with what running has taught me and I am sure, many others along their journey….

17 Things Running Teaches You About Life 
  1. To be good at anything, you have to put in the time and effort no matter how talented you are.
  2. Your abilities and someone else’s abilities are not the same. Do the best that YOU can do.
  3. If winning is your objective, realize that you have to work 10 times harder than the next best person.
  4. No matter how hard you work and how prepared you are, disappointments will happen.
  5. The most gratifying experiences usually come as a result of enduring the most painful trials.
  6. To be great at anything, you have to risk failing terribly at it.
  7. A lot of people endure the same pains that you do.
  8. If you focus on putting one foot in front of the other, you will eventually reach the finish line.
  9. You cannot reach the finish line unless you start.
  10. The mind is a very powerful thing. If you can train your mind to keep going even when your body wants to quit, you can achieve some incredible things.
  11. Learning the difference between physically being unable to continue and giving up.
  12. Accepting that every day is different some days 5 miles is really easy, other days it feels like a cruel punishment.13. Pace yourself.
  13. You cannot give 100%, 100% of the time.
  14. Sometimes you need a day off, a day off from everything.
  15. The worst time, the slowest pace, the last person to finish the race is still better off than the person who refused to try.
  16. Even if you fall, even if you cannot finish today, you can and should pick yourself up and try again tomorrow.
Source: Thought Catalog 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Back to the Beginning

Since it was over a year ago when I started this blog, I figured it would be nice to take a step back and fill you in on the beginning. I have always loved writing and hope to share inspiring stories to my readers (if when it gets to this point)!
Over the last couple of years, I have found a few great blogs that I religiously follow such as, and There are also a few great weddings blogs that helped inspire me while I was patiently waiting for my ring and wedding planning: and I have loved learning from all of these individuals as they share their passions, life stories and experiences along the way. They’ve inspired me in many ways through their great recipes, DIY knowledge and fabulous wedding plans.

Throughout my journey, I'll plan to share my stories whether they're successes or failures along with organization tips, homemade meals, DIY projects and wedding plans — all the little things that help make our home sweet home in Iowa.

As far as recipes, let's kick it off with a quick and easy favorite in our house, buffalo chicken wraps. The fiery combination of buffalo chicken paired with the cool avocado and salsa mixture will sure be a favorite for your family too.


2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite-size pieces)
Frank's buffalo sauce
Ranch dressing
Shredded cheese (monterrey jack or cheddar)
1 Avocado
Banana peppers
Small white onion
Grape tomatoes
4- 10 inch flour tortillas

Put a small amount of oil into a large nonstick skillet. Add the chicken and cooke over medium heat until no longer pink in the middle. When the chicken is almost done, add the buffalo sauce and ranch dressing.

While the chicken is cooking, start on your salsa. Mix together chopped white onion, banana peppers and tomatoes (amount to your preference). Add in the avocado last.

To assemble wraps:

Lay tortilla on a work surface or plate. Spread with more buffalo or ranch (if you'd like). Then, top with chicken, cheese and the salsa mixture. Roll over the top of the tortilla and slightly tuck it under your filling, fold in the sides and finish rolling the tortilla over. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

There are many options with this recipe to customize it for you or your family...And still enjoy the great flavor! Watching your calories? Try using a whole-wheat tortilla or add the mixture over lettuce for a buffalo chicken salad instead. Buffalo too spicy for the little ones? Modify the amount or just use the ranch dressing.

Whatever your preference, these wraps are sure to be enjoyed by everyone!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

What gets you up and running?

What a beautiful Saturday! The weather around here (Iowa) has been crazy the last.....well, forever! Like many places in the Midwest, the weather can change at the drop of a hat. Earlier this week it was upper 60s, then with a chance of snow the following days. So, instead of letting the weather mess with our training plan for Dam to Dam, I met my running buddies at our favorite trial Friday night for a lovely 6 mile run. I don't think any of us wanted to be there! While most people were out for happy hour after a long week, our weekend began with running for a hour or the cold, windy, and almost rainy weather. As gorgeous as it is today, I am still glad to have our long run of the week done. Maybe I will head out for a short one today and enjoy this weather while it's here.

To get me through the run I kept thinking and talking about the amazing dinner JD and I had planned. Nothing fancy, but something definitely delicious....homemade pancakes! I love pancakes! They used to be a 'special' weekend treat, but we haven't had them forever.
When I got home for the run, I was tired, cold, hungry....and did I mention cold? While I took a long, hot shower to warm up (which never happened), JD started on the pancakes. Here's the recipe he used:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk (a little less or more depending on the consistency you like)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
In a large measuring cup, whisk together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix well. Heat griddle and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour batter onto hot griddle. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minuets or until the top starts bubbling, and flip.

Makes about 6 large pancakes.

Sometime we (JD) add blueberries or chocolate chips into the batter for smoothing a little more special.

We were both too hungry and devoured them right away. Sorry, no pictures this time! I was grateful to get take a backseat on cooking tonight and let JD do his thing. And it ended up being a great post-run meal.

The only thing that would have made this meal better would have been adding in my new obsession.....Blueberry Coffee from Dunkin Donuts. Now, I am not a coffee girl (usually); however, JD has me hooked on this stuff. I am hoping that if I drink this long enough, I will fall in love with the real thing.

Don't worry though, my first stop Saturday morning was ..... you guessed it, in line for coffee to start off my Saturday. 

What gets you up and running in the morning?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Continuing What I Started

Another year has come and gone.....and unfortunately, I failed again to continue my blog last year. I am hoping now that things have settled down, I can start right where I left off. Here's a recap of the amazing year, that I'll never forget!

At times, I think back and wonder how I survived 2013 as it was a crazy and busy year...But sometimes the craziest times in our lives seem to turn out as the best! In 2013, in the midst of planning (obsessively) for our October wedding, I decided it was as good of time as any to start a new job and train for another half marathon. Sometimes it's the most hectic of schedules that keep us focused and motivated on the final goals. And I'd have to say, 2013 was no different.


In July, I started a new job in marketing with a great company. This position gives me the opportunity to focus more on writing which was a goal I had set for last year. I continue to enjoy all I am learning and have fallen back into my love for writing!


ONE OF THE BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE…For sure! I wouldn't change a thing. While I love planning and was focused on every detail, when the day was finally here, I made sure to enjoy and take everything in. People aren't kidding when they say the day flies by. It was a little sad at the end to know everything I had planned for the last year and a half was done…But the end reward was much worth it! And having our family and friends there to celebrate with us made it even more special.


Like I mentioned before, I love planning and am very detail-oriented (some may say "control freak"). So, planning a wedding, my wedding, I was very particlar about every...single...detail. Training for the IMT Half-Marathon (and amazing running buddies), kept me focused on the end purpose and helped get me in shape for the big day. With all of the pre-wedding events like my showers, bachelorette party, and Italian cookie making, PLUS the long 10, 11 and 12 miles runs falling the month before the wedding, I had to carefully plan runs into my schedule. This really proved to me that, no matter how busy you are, you can make time to workout.
It also helped knowing that with running, I could enjoy not thinking about all the wedding details or the constant information I was taking in at my new job. And on most of the runs, spend quality time with the three girls I was training with along the way. In the end, my goal was to "get through" this half-marathon in one piece. But with encouragment from my great running friends (and the crazy one who ran the full marathon), I ended up setting a PR! Now, if I can just get back to that place in my running for this year….

So look forward to more to come from me throughout 2013. This is the year that I will keep blogging!