Month: October 2014

My First Half Marathon

This morning Brad and I ran in the Kansas City Waddell and Reed Half Marathon!

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Here you have the before…

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…and the after!

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Happy faces. Tired legs.

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Apparently my “I’m getting ready to run for a long time” and my “I just ran for a long time” pose are the same.

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Pretty sweet medal!

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Seeing all the Royals blue fountains throughout the race was really fun! I’ll always remember the year I ran a half marathon when the Royals were in the World Series!

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For those of you that knew me in high school or even early college remember me as mediocre to less than average when it came to athleticism. I played sports, but that was mostly because my friends played sports so that’s what I wanted to do even though my talents lied more in the arts. High schoolers.

I’ve always been able to run at least a mile, but running was always something that I thought I just couldn’t do. “I’m just not a runner,” I told myself. I even did track and field for two years, but I shied away from running events and stuck to jumps and pole vault.

Then in college I started running a little further than I normally dared. I stepped off the treadmill and tried the track. Then I ventured outside of my comfort zone and took to the road. My running really began to pick up when Brad and I started dating.

After we got married I thought I was still just a 5k runner. A half marathon seemed like something completely out of my reach. Then about a year and a half ago Brad decided to train for a half marathon. I opted not to do it with him, but I’d cheer him on and help him train!

Throughout the course of his training, I inadvertently increased my endurance just by joining in on his runs. By the time he ran his race I had gotten up to 6 miles without even training. I figured I’d made it halfway, so I could make it 13.1 if I tried!

To be honest, we did not train like we should have for this race! We only ran 2-3 times a week and didn’t go any cross-training. We’re terrible runners! Part of me can’t believe we actually did it!

But we did. We went all 13.1 without stopping or walking! We are so thankful for all of our friends and family that encouraged us during our training and prayed for our race!

One half marathon down, and I’m sure there will be many more in our future.

Pinterest Recipe Triumphs, Fourth Edition

Hey Ya’ll. It’s that time again. Every once in a while I share some recipes I’ve gotten from Pinterest that turned out GREAT and that I will definitely make again in the future! I hope you find something you enjoy as well!

(You can find my past Pinterest Recipe Triumphs here, here and here.)

1. Baked Teriyaki Chicken. You guys, this was sooooooo good. Like, this could have been from a restaurant good. I’ve tried several chicken teriyaki recipes over the years and this was definitely my fav. Try it.

baked chicken teriyaki

2. Chicken Broccoli Pasta with Lemon Butter Sauce. Sometimes pasta can be super heavy and leave you feeling weighed down after you eat it, but that is not the case with this pasta! It made a pretty large batch, so I’ll probably half it the next time I make it. I felt like it needed a little bit more kick, so I’ll pump up the volume on the lemon and chili flakes as well.

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3. Favorite Marinated Vegetables. I couldn’t believe how easy and tasty this was! If you get tired of the same old vegetables plus ranch dressing you have to try this: your favorite vegetables + italian dressing + marinate in the refrigerator overnight = delicious.

favorite marinated vegetables

4. Sparkling Cider. I served this recently at my mom’s birthday party and it was a hit! Perfect for a fall party! This recipe calls for apple cider + sparkling water (sparkling tonic). At the party we served apple cider + champagne, which was equally fantastic.

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Let me know if you try one of these and what you thought! Happy cooking!

Little Ways We Save Money

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My friend Amy recently shared ways her and her husband have found to save money while he is in seminary. Brad and I both have jobs now, but we essentially survived on only his salary while I was in school for the last two years. We never went without anything important, but we definitely had to find ways to make our money stretch. I got some great ideas from Amy, so I thought I’d share some of our own strategies.

1. Plans meals for the week, make a grocery list, and stick to it.
If I don’t plan our meals, we end up going out to eat. And if I don’t make a list, I end up buying things we don’t need. We go shopping on Sunday evenings, so each Sunday afternoon I set aside some time to evaluate what we’ve got going on that week, what meals I’ll make on what days, and plan out my shopping trip. Once I get to the store, I really try to stick to the list! It’s tempting to buy something because it’s on sale, but I have to remind myself that just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean that I need it.

2. Virgin Mobile. Brad and I had Verizon for two years and were happy with it, but we were not happy with the price. We had some friends that recommended Virgin Mobile, so when our Verizon contract was up we decided to give it a try. Virgin Mobile is pay-as-you-go, so you can cancel it at any time. I pay $40 a month for 1200 minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data. It uses Sprint towers and my service has been pretty good in KC. You have to pay full price for your phone up front, but it paid for itself after just a few months of only paying $40 compared to almost $200 a month. Disclaimer: they advertise as unlimited data, but once you reach a certain limit your speed slows down. This hasn’t been much of a problem for me because I don’t use my phone much while I’m at work and I’m on wifi when I’m at home, so I don’t use that much data.

3. No cable. There have been times that we’ve wished we had cable (like for watching Royals games!), but in general we feel like we haven’t missed out at all. We pay for wifi and use a Roku to watch Netflix and YouTube, and we listen to music through Pandora and Spotify. It’s kept us from watching mindless TV and kept our entertainment costs down!

4. Making your coffee at home. Brad and I love our coffee, and while we do buy plenty of coffee outside of our home, we try to at least get our morning coffee at home. Even spending a dollar on coffee every morning can really add up over time! We fill a travel mug on our way out the door and can drink it on the way to work so we are awake by the time we get there!

5. Go to free things. There are tons of free things to do out there, sometimes it just takes a little bit of work to find them. Ask your friends what they like to do for free. Google free things to do in your city. Brad and I enjoyed a lot of things when we lived in Springfield without spending a lot of money!

6. Tithe faithfully. For people who aren’t familiar, tithing is giving 10% of your earnings to your local church. It may seem a little counter-productive for saving money, but I’ve learned over and over again that God is faithful to provide when you are faithful to Him with your finances.

We’re not experts on finances. Sometimes we buy things on impulse. I don’t keep my receipts like I should. But we try to make wise choices and find the small ways to save money, so we can be good stewards of what we have. How do you save money??