Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Rainy Day

I love rainy days like today...although lately I've felt like I've been in a little slump. 

I have absolutely nothing to complain about, but it's just one of those days where I don't want to do a thing except snuggle the puppy and watch movies. I guess that's not all bad...

Enough of my dreariness and onto what's been happening lately (since there are things to be thankful for!)

I've been MIA lately due to a fun trip with my in-laws. Yes, I went on a 9 hour car ride with only my in-laws, and we had a great time! I am truly grateful to have a good relationship with them. We visited my MIL's family in PA. The family is a hoot, and I adore the mountains. The only bummer is that I was lovesick to the max for Corey. Silly, since I was only gone 4 days!

As soon as I returned from PA, I prepared and had a garage sale fundraiser for the Traffick Stop 5k. It was a lot of work, but I had wonderful family and friends help me. 

There was so. much. stuff. 

We had some really awesome items, but didn't really have a stellar turnout for a variety of reasons. BUT I was able to spend some time with dear friends, and praise the Lord we made just enough to cover our T-shirt costs which was the whole point. 

As most of you know, I am obsessed with planning and organizing. Most people don't understand me it, but it's how I show love to people, cope with life, and maintain my dreams. But I hate fundraising. a lot. So sometimes the money-side of this 5k can be overwhelming. I was reminded through the sale, though, that the Lord wants this event to happen and is choosing to bless us right now. Not mention that He reminded me of the incredible support system I have and how many victims of trafficking don't have...

Since the garage sale, I've been catching up on house chores, running errands, starting to prepare for school, etc. I've had a slump in my workouts  and eating patterns since returning from PA which I think it contributing to my lethargic-ness (is that a word?). Although I missed a long run, haven't weight lifted and have eaten too much for the past week (yes, only a week), tomorrow is a new day. 

Andddd it is a good reminder that I am so human. 
And can be a bit too hard on myself. 
And some days don't want any responsibilities.
I said it. 

I read a friend's blog today, and it was a great encouragement to me. A reminder to be still and enjoy these little tasks. Enjoy making mistakes. Enjoy serving others. Enjoy all the gifts and opportunities the Lord has offered me although I do not deserve it. 

So I am going to enjoy this rainy day, and be satisfied with where I am at in this moment.

What about you?

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Pink Lily

Now that the half is over, I am eagerly preparing for my next races!

In October I am going to run the Grand Rapids Marathon on a relay team. I will be running with my friends Stacy, Adam, Janna, and my brother Kevin.

Stacy and Adam will most likely be running the 6 mile legs while the rest of us take the 4ish mile legs. I'm excited for a smaller distance in hopes that I can get a stellar time. Although we're not aiming for a certain team time, we all have our individual goals. My best so far is 3 miles at a 7:40 pace (which has taken me 5 years to achieve), so I may add in some speed workouts to do that on a more consistent basis/further distance.

I also ordered a pink lily from the Fellow Flowers group (which represents gratitude) in response to Jen's willingness to stay by me during the rough parts of the Chicago half. I can't wait to wear it for the relay! I also get excited to plan my outfits for races...even though I never wear accessories except a watch. Is that weird?

In January my training for the Gazelle Girl half marathon in Grand Rapids begins. I'm pumped! Since it is an April race with limited/no humidity, I'm anticipating a better outcome than Chicago, and I hope to run it in under 2 hours. We'll see when that time rolls around ;)

Although I don't have a runners body, and I have no desire to run a full marathon, I am so grateful I am able to run--and that I actually enjoy it! Throughout the week I try to mix in running with weight lifting and cross training such as the elliptical or Zumba. Despite loving food, and having some poor eating days more often than I'd like to admit, I've been feeling healthier now than I have in quite some time. The accountability of some great friends has obviously helped too!

I plan to keep this lifestyle don't let me slack!

What do your workouts consist of?

Sunday, July 14, 2013


What fun we had this week!

On Monday Corey and I celebrated my 25th birthday (yes, I'm a baby) with his family at a local restaurant called Derby Station. We failed to get a family photo.

On Tuesday I visited some former co-workers in Traverse City...and it was a delight! Again, I failed to get a picture of us gals, but for some reason snapped a shot of the downtown theater?

Yes, strange. But they do play recent 25 cent movies on Saturday, so I guess it's legit. Corey and I have been trying to decide what to do for our anniversary in money, a day trip, etc. But we just decided that we are going to Traverse City! We are going to hit up a bunch of local breweries, the theater, shops, and scenery. I'm quite excited :)

On Friday we had some dear friends visit from Lansing. They recently moved back since living the past year in St. Louis. Guess what? I didn't take any pictures of this night either. Fail for a third time in the photo arena. Nonetheless, it was a blast having them (and their adorable 8 month old) spend the night!

Saturday we headed up north to go camping with my family. Corey's hates camping, but he knows that he only has to go for 1 overnight a year, and he cannot complain about it like he did the first year because that hurts my feelings and makes me cranky ;) Anywho, we went for a dune buggy ride at Silver Lake, climbed Little Sable Point Lighthouse, and had delicious ice cream from Country Dairy. It was a marvelous time! (Corey even enjoyed it on Saturday, so you know it was fun)

Here are some pictures of this weekend:

I cannot believe how quickly this summer is flying by. I leave for PA with Corey's parents later this week, and then next week we are going to a wedding and having a garage sale fundraiser for the Traffick Stop 5k. Exciting plans that make the time speed!

Has the summer flown by for you too?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Family Binder

Well folks, remember that family binder I was geeked about a few days ago?

I made it!

There are a few items I still need to make copies of, but for the most part it is organized and complete. I was looking for something simple to hold all our important information rather than having piles of papers in random parts of the house.

They aren't the prettiest binders (I went for cheap over aesthetics), but they are completely functional. Each italicized word below is a tab heading. Within each tab there is a clear plastic sheet for each item. After I put it together, I made a list of the items I still needed.

Here is how they are organized...

Binder 1
Personal Data
-original & copies of social security cards
-birth certificates
-original and copies of passports
-drivers license copies
-wills/power of attorney (from my parents)
-original & copy of marriage license
-wedding ring appraisal 

Health History
-immunization records
-doctor, dentist, vet names/numbers
-emergency contact info
-medical info for each person (allergies, surgeries, family history, etc.)

Health Insurance
-copy of primary health card/policy info
-copy of dental card/policy info
-copy of vision card/policy info

School Information
-copies of diplomas
-copies of professional licenses
-reference letters/resumes

-student loan websites
-others (netflix, etc.)

Binder 2
Bank Information
-account types
-special notes
-(I may put our financial goals in here)

Car Information
-original & copy of title
-insurance agreement/policy
-copy of registration
-spare keys

-mortgage info
-insurance policy 
-repairs/updates (i.e. lawn service, backsplash info, furnace repair) starting with most recent

Retirement/Life Insurance
-life insurance plan
-pension info
-403(b) info
-investment info

Another idea for a tab would be warranties or manuals.

Here are some high-tech pictures from my phone...

Luna helped me sort...kind of

Inside of binder which shows what the tabs are

Under the car tab

This is part of our medical info. My future looks bleak

I only found a couple organizational guides online, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to separate items by person or by category. I found it to be easier to organize by category and then have separate "sleeves" for each person's items. The binders, rather than filing cabinets, are also easy to store.

So there you have it.

I hope this post is beneficial to you as you create your own system!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 4

What a week! 

Corey was able to have this week off of work, and we had a blast!

On Monday we did tons of yard work. We are taking out three large, overgrown, nasty bushes in our backyard. We also pulled weeds, trimmed trees, and gave our landscaping a face lift. (Don't get me wrong, it's still in need of. a. lot. And obviously I already of tons of plans for it ;)). I really wish I had the before and after pictures to show you, but just imagine us Corey hauling four overflowing truck loads of brush to a local tree company. Then we had four of our nephews spend the night!

Needless to say, on Tuesday we laid low...mostly working out together, volunteering, taking naps, playing with Mags. What a life.

On Wednesday we had the pleasure of going to Hoffmaster with our bffs who were in town! Corey got tons of fly bites which was quite hilarious frustrating. Poor Adam also got some welts from horseflies. But it really was a swell time, though, as you can see...

Thursday, the lovely 4th of July, is one of my favorite holidays because it epitomizes relaxation. This year was a bit different though. Why you ask? (Just pretend you asked)

I had the flu.
And barfed.
All over.

No need to pity me. It was just a really embarrassing day as we were with Corey's family an hour and a half away when the episodes began. The evening ended well with me being able to see my wonderful friends from high school. The four of us hadn't been together since Christmas! Thankfully no one else got sick.

Friday we laid low. Slept. Drank lots of fluids. Had coffee with a lovely friend. And had a lovely evening with Stac/Adam and their family again. They are seriously a huge blessing to us. This simple blog won't do them justice, but just know we realize how freakin' amazing our friends are...and we love them so!

Saturday I had a shift at Fossil where a snagged a few Christmas presents (yes, I'm insane), and then we spent the evening with the Reeds. My youngest nephew, Carson, has found his voice! I absolutely love it when kids learn to speak...their personalities just flourish! We laughed and ate delicious food. I love my family :)

Today is another day of rest, an incredible sermon from our youth pastor who is leaving to another church to be head pastor, and lunch at Outback. I'm also working on the Traffick Stop 5k garage sale as well as a few other parties/plans.

Oh, and I'm going to make a family binder. I know that is completely random, but I am quite excited about it. I want all our important docs in one, easy-to-maneuver place. I will hopefully blog about it soon.

I loved this vacation with Corey, and I'm pumped for the other adventures we have planned!

What have your summer plans looked like?