Wednesday, November 30, 2011

3-Day for the Cure: Day One

Mentally. Physically. Monetarily. Emotionally. Spiritually. Relationally.

And finally, the day was here. 
Friday, November 18, 2011.

How best to explain the 3-day?

In pictures... 
with a few words scattered throughout [because, really, you have to hear a few stories!]
[disclaimer: most of these pictures were taken while we were actively walking... 
therefore, these are not my best work. 
and yet, i feel they still capture the essence of the experience :)]

Checking in and dropping off our bags at 5:30am Friday. Thank you Steve for taking us so early in the morning!! They were so organized and we had a letter-number combo on our little tags that told us where to put our luggage and where our tent would be later that day.

 We're here!
 Our motto.
 My buddy and me at the opening ceremony. We're really gonna do this!!
 Part of the opening ceremony... the survivor circle.
The flag in the middle has the names of those who have passed that are close to the 2011 walkers.
Both Mom and I wrote names on there.
 And we're off.... AHHHHHH!!!!
 3 miles in... pit stop one in Del Mar. That wasn't so bad!
 Around mile 5... our first official police friend. The police ROCKED.
 Leaving pit stop 2 and headed up Torrey Pines... about mile 6.
 Mom's best friend Saranne tracked us down around mile 10 and was our first personal cheerleader! 
It was so encouraging to see a familiar face and meant so much to have her there.
 Mile 12... lunch at La Jolla Shores! Lunch was fun. :)
Although, Mom and I had this thing where we would get to the stops and there would be tons of people... and by the time we were ready to go everyone had already left. This was the case at lunch. The rest of day one was a bit of playing catch-the-group and so 
 La Jolla in the afternoon. God continually reminded me of His faithfulness.
 From La Jolla to Bird Rock to Pacific Beach...
Just a few of the vehicles from the incredible team of police, fire rescue, bikers, and others who volunteered their time throughout the entire walk. From here, it was just a walking path to camp.
 Heading all the way down Mission Bay to Crown Point - the last miles of the day.
What a truly beautiful city to walk through.
[notice how few walkers there are compared to earlier? we sorta ended up close to the end... unintentionally...]
 We made it to camp! 
Day one [officially 21.5 miles]: complete!
 We got to camp right as the route was about to close (5:15pm), so it was dark. 
[most others had been at camp for a couple hours and were all settled in already]
We still had to get our tent, find our tent site, set up our tent, shower, eat dinner, change/unpack and get set up, and get to the evening entertainment... in one hour.
Therefore we didn't take many pictures.
However, praise God for the YMCA kids who volunteered to set up our tent for us!!!
 Finally showered, fed, and a bit more settled for the evening.
My twin/best pal/mom and me in our matching jammies.
[btw... we totally didn't need the scarves... but we brought them, so we wanted to wear them]

After the mishap of the air mattress [aka Jordanna pumped it up, pump died, Jordanna plugged air plug while we charged pump, came back to find the plug had come off and Jordanna had deflated the whole thing by laying across it before realizing such. battery lasted 5 min more... we needed 25 minutes. therefore: night one -- deflated air mattress]
[to take it further... this is happening at about 9-9:30pm... everyone around us is sound asleep. We quickly learned we could be playing catch up for a bit ... so is life for us! this is not complaining though... just to try to give you a glimpse of the day in our eyes. We had a great day!]

And then it was off to sleep for a sound solid 8 hours...
did I say that?
I meant,
an hour on the rough ground... tossing... turning... an hour here... what time is it, not time yet...
Nevertheless, it was a night to remember. In the best way possible. :-)

Only 40 miles to go...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A thankful heart: My Bed

After walking sixty miles over the course of three days
with a 6.5' x 6.5' tent for mom and I to sleep in together
on the cold hard ground of Crown Point,
it really was amazing to come home and climb into my bed.
My soft, cozy, warm, blanket and padding filled bed.

{this is not to say the tent was bad... 
it was most definitely part of the experience,
and so incredibly worth it}

I have fallen asleep so fast the last two nights and slept the night through 
{minus my sweet Emma girl's nose nudging me at 3:30am ;)}
with my J by my side.

I don't know if I've ever been more thankful for my own bed.

Lord, thank you for a warm place to sleep at night.
Bless those who are not as fortunate as I am.
Thank you for a tangible reminder of your protection, provision, and enveloping love.
May I never grow tired of saying thank you.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A thankful heart: Hubby's Words

My husband has spoken some of the most thoughtful, kind, and loving words to me lately.
Consistently. Daily. More than daily.
Tonight, I tried out a couple Thanksgiving recipes for us to try
and asked for his honest opinion.

His response?

Wow, J.
These are so good.
I wouldn't change a thing.
You're amazing.
Great job hun.
I'm so proud of you.
Seriously hun.

I'm so thankful for my husband's encouraging words.
Especially in an area that often intimidates me like cooking.
I'm thankful he gets me and knows just what I need to hear.
I'm thankful he always speaks the truth in love.

And I'm thankful for two successful menu items. :)

husband's encouragement + a couple kitchen successes = 
a wife who feels she can conquer anything!

3-Day for the Cure: Preview

This past weekend, my mom and I walked the 
Susan G Komen 3-Day for the Cure in San Diego.

I signed up back in March,
aware that this would challenge me in every way
and change my life,
but unaware of the depth and details of that change and challenge.

over 100 miles trained (I sorta lost exact count)...
and the grand finale...
60 miles in 3 days.

We completed the walk last night.
I am still a bit in awe of the whole thing,
so for now, 
just a glimpse of a piece of the experience.

at the opening ceremony, friday november 18th, 6:30am

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Capture the moment

best friends

Monday, November 14, 2011

A thankful heart: The Little Things

Today, as I checked out at Petsmart with a huge bag of dog food and bird food in hand,
I noticed the signature for my credit card was no longer paper, but electronic.
I asked the woman working when they got electronic signing pads.
She stopped, looked at me, and grinning ear to ear, said
"We just got them this week. It is new.
I think you are the first customer to notice!"

I didn't think much of it at first.
I mean, J and I frequent Petsmart at least monthly.
And it's technology for goodness sake. ;-)

But then I realized that was the point.
That it was a little thing. 
And that God gave me eyes to notice the little things.

One example:
J driving during our entire vacation last week,
smiling and calming me down when I gave the wrong directions
and we got stuck waiting for the train for ten minutes.

One more example: 
A cloudy fall sky. 
And the moon peaking out behind the sun, peaking out behind the clouds
on my way home from work today.

I'm so thankful for eyes to see the little things.

God, may I never miss the little blessings from you.
Show me every glimpse of your power, glory, and faithfulness.
Thank you for the {seemingly} little things and the {not-so} little things.
Thank you for little bits of kingdom eyes here in this life.
You are a good good God.
May I never forget.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A thankful heart: Home

Last night, we got home from the most amazing trip to Oregon.
We saw some of the most amazing views ever,
spent time with special friends,
and cherished each other as we made memories together.

As much fun as we had,
we were so excited for our flight to touch down in San Diego,
to drive home along familiar roads,
and walk into our home greeted by the two happiest puppies I've ever seen
and the cockatiel with the prettiest whistle.

Our home is humble and modest,
and our animals are definitely not perfect.
The list of things to remodel is huge,
but I am so thankful we have a home to make a list for.
I'm so thankful we have a home for our puppies,
and we have a family to create a home.

As much as I love vacation,
I might love home even more.

Lord, thank you for my home.
Thank you for blessing me with such a special family
in my husband and pets.
Thank you for a roof and a heater and a cozy bed.
May I remember how blessed I am
and be ever thankful for what I have.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A thankful heart: Vacation!

I meant to post yesterday before we left,
But J and I are vacationing in Oregon the rest of this week!

A few things I'm excited for:
Lots of fun and tasty eats
Exploring new towns
Meeting new friends and touring a hospital
Seeing old friends and playing with baby Elle
Laughing and memory making with my best friend and hubby

I'm so thankful for vacation!!

Have a great week -- see ya on the flip side!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A thankful heart: Birthday Celebrations

Tonight, J and I met Ali and Joe for a birthday celebration dinner and pazookie
to celebrate Ali's 26th {on 11-1-11}.

The night was filled with lots of stories,
lots of laughs,
lots of yummy pizza and salad,
a few presents,
and an a-mazing gluten free chocolate chip pazookie.

I love celebrating birthdays,
especially when they belong to special people.
It's so fun to take moments to thank the Lord for individual people.

Today, I'm thankful for birthday celebrations.

Happy birthday, A!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A thankful heart: New Discoveries

This morning, Mom and I mapped our own 15 {turned 16} mile walk
through Old Town, Mission Hills, Hillcrest, Balboa Park, and Banker's Hill
{by the way, mapping a 15 mile walk is not as easy as it sounds}.

I am loving our weekend walks
because they are filled with new discoveries.

Discovering more about each other.
Discovering new eateries, coffee houses, and neighborhoods.
Discovering new friends and stories.
Discovering how our bodies react to walking and carrying so much.

Just today, I discovered:

Mission Hills is a darn cute little neighborhood,
Hillcrest and 1st through 6th avenues are actually delightful to walk through,
there is a coffee bean on washington {hello favorite!},

a new {becoming not-so-new} friend who joined us for the second half of the walk
 {mom and me with our new friend, Leti at espresso mio}

there is a real town called Rio in Brazil... not just in the movie,
mom is really good at braiding her hair without a mirror,

the living room cafe has yummy breakfast burritos {#whoknew?},

I don't get such bad blisters when I walk a little slower and use second skin,
I will walk through any neighborhood I'm considering moving to in the future,
espresso mio is owned by one of the sweetest marathon-running ladies,

places that seem so far away are actually only a couple miles,

my cell phone battery only lasts 6 hours when i use the gps mileage tracker,

I love walking and talking with mom,

every home has special character
{the house mom fell in love with},

it's sometimes fun to wander off the beaten path for a picture or two,

and God is  e v e r y w h e r e .

I'm so thankful for new discoveries.

{ps: 13 DAYS until the big 3-day!!!}

Friday, November 4, 2011

A thankful heart: Thoughtfulness

When I checked the mail today,
I was so surprised to see a little package.
Snail mail makes me oh-so-e.x.c.i.t.e.d.
Inside was the most thoughtful little gift from my mother-in-law.

What a sweet surprise.
Thank you, K!!
It will be perfect for my 15 mile walk with mom in the morning!
And even more perfect for THE walk in less than TWO WEEKS!

Thoughtfulness is always such a special gift
no matter what form it comes in,
but an actual gift is one of the more rare forms.

I am so thankful for thoughtfulness!

A thankful heart: Rainy days

I woke up this morning to a dark sky with clouds that threatened rain.
And I got all giddy inside as I pulled on a long sleeve, short sleeve, and huge jacket for work.
I drove and watched the sky display God's power.

At work, I waited for the skies to open.
And open they did.
By the time I got home tonight, it was absolutely pouring.

I ran inside with my hood on, took the puppies out {in their jackets of course},
and then hurried to change into my comfy clothes and slippers.
We turned the heater on and enjoyed a warm dinner and lots of blankets.

Today, and everyday we have one, I'm thankful for rainy days.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A thankful heart: Morning Coffee

This morning was a [really] early morning, as I woke up to read for a nursing class I took today.
[I realize I should have started reading sooner... the good news was it was fresh in my mind :)].
Two days ago, I purchased coffee mate french vanilla coffee creamer. 
Which just so happens to be the best way to drink coffee, in my humble opinion.
[unless it's blended, of course].
Last night, as I set my alarm for eeeearlyyy,
I smiled thinking about the cup of coffee I would enjoy while reading.
And when I woke up, I smelled the brewing pot.
I poured my coffee into my cute coffee mug and added my yummy creamer.
And I read as I sipped my coffee.
And I was happy.

I typically have coffee and read my Bible in the morning,
but since I've started working earlier, I usually take both to work with me.

It was so fun to cuddle on my couch with a blanket and coffee today.

Today [and always] I'm thankful for my coffee... with yummy creamer... 
in my cute coffee cup... in my living room. 

A thankful heart: Yesterday

Yesterday I was a little grumpy.
And I didn't have a very thankful heart.
But looking back today, I realize how many little blessings there were.
I'm reminded how much I have to be thankful for based on yesterday.

I'm thankful for a busy day at work.
I'm thankful for a car ride with mom.
I'm thankful for continued 3-day walker prep.
I'm thankful for dinner my husband got for me so thoughtfully.
I'm thankful for hugs and extra love.
I'm thankful for hump day.
I'm thankful for a scarf on sale [that matches mom's!].
I'm thankful for the reminder to be thankful.

Now that wasn't so hard. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Give thanks

Driving home from work today,
I was reminded of a worship song we sang when I was young.
As I began to sing it in my car, I mentally went back to the pews at Skyline,
standing and singing next to my mom; 
she holding my hand with hers and raising the other to the God of the universe.

The words hung in the air
and I realized how good God is
and how much I have to be thankful for.

On this first of November, my spirit is thankful.
I'm thankful for grace. 
I'm thankful that when I am weak, He is strong.
I'm thankful that He sees the depths of my heart and loves me the same.
I'm thankful I have a Savior.
I'm thankful He died for me.
I'm thankful for the riches of His grace which He freely bestows on His children.
I'm thankful for life.
I'm thankful for kingdom vision.

Give thanks with a grateful heart.
Give thanks to the Holy One.
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His son.

And now let the weak say I am strong;
let the poor say I am rich.
Because of what the Lord has done for us,
Give thanks.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I choose Faith

Lately in my quiet time and in my women's bible study,
I've been learning about faith.

I'm learning that faith requires both believing and obeying. And that unbelief is sin. Faith pleases God

I'm reminded that trials will come. And that I am to be faithful through them
I must know His Word. I must choose to live by faith.

I'm learning about the rest of faith. Kay Arthur {incredible woman} says that 
the rest of faith is uniting the Word of God with faith for a particular situation. 
In every situation, I want to take what I know is true based on the Word of God, and then apply faith. 
I want to trust that God's Word is TRUTH. I want to believe God. I must believe God. 
And I must walk in obedience to His Word.

So many times, I have chosen to {not completely} trust God. 
To {pretty much} have faith {except for the little part that doubts}. 
To {worry instead of} rest in His promises. 
To believe {lies more than} the truth. 

But God is faithful even when I am not. He knows my heart, and He loves me regardless of what I think or do. 
He loves me even when I choose the passing pleasures of sinful words, thoughts and actions over the rest of faith.
He has given us His Word to live by. He has revealed His character to me. 
He spoke the world into existence. I have no problem believing this. 
Yet, I doubt His power in little life situations.

I am choosing to live by faith. 
I am choosing to rest in faith. 
I am trusting God. 
I am believing God. 
I choose to know the Word. 
I choose to obey God. 
I choose the Truth.

"For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. 
But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." 
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Capture the moment

"just cuddling, dad. we're best friends."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

3-Day Update

You might remember {or have contributed to} Mom and I are walking the 
Susan G Komen 3-day for the Cure this November.
As in, next month. 
29 days, to be exact.

Two goals:
1. Raise $2300 each --- CHECK!
2. {train to} Walk 60 miles in three days... {In Process}

Again, I am SO thankful to all of my family and friends, old and new, who supported me financially in this endeavor. Breast cancer is SO prevalent in our society, and every dollar raised makes a difference in the fight to find a cure, educate women, and diagnose and treat EARLY. 

As for training, we are kicking it into high gear now that we're getting down to the wire.

Mom and I have been walking our behinds off these past few weekends!
{except for last weekend, when I sat by the pool all day while she walked 18 miles up and down the coast}
Our together-walks have been mostly weekend mornings. 
The last two we did together: 12 miles Saturday followed by 7 miles Sunday.
The next weekend, 9.5 miles Saturday and 6.5 miles Sunday.
Mom last weekend: 18 miles Saturday and 5 miles Sunday {she rocks}

This weekend... 17 miles Saturday. {not sure how many Sunday yet}
My mom is such a good sport to walk so far two weeks in a row with me.

How am I feeling?

I'm excited at this amazing opportunity.
I'm nervous at the thought of walking through exhaustion and blisters and such.
I'm motivated by my mom's commitment.
I'm humbled by the stories I've heard from fellow women and walkers and their connection to breast cancer.
I'm thankful for health and the opportunity to walk with my mom while we can.
I'm amazed by God's grace and the intricacies of His creation.
I'm awestruck at the details I notice when I'm walking that I would never see from my driver's seat.
I'm blessed by the extra time I've gotten to spend with my mom.

It's crazy how many emotions can be felt in such a short period of time.
I know the walk will be the culmination of all the efforts and all the emotions.

This is a life changer.
I can't wait!

A few photos from some recent walks
{they aren't perfect or very many since i'm trying not to interrupt walks too often to stop, turn fanny pack, take out camera case, take out camera, turn on camera, frame photo, snap picture, check picture, put camera back in case, zip up fanny pack, re-situate fanny pack, continue walking... that adds a lot of minutes ;)}

{comment about below photo: yes... i recognize my fanny pack is lopsided. 
i am still trying to locate the perfect second water bottle to balance it out. 
then it will be just right.}
 {we'll be ready by November 18th... don't worry... ;-) }

"The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."
Isaiah 58:11

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sista Sistas in Palm Springs

This weekend, my sister and I took a much needed mini-vacay to celebrate her 21st birthday,

After a few long weeks, it was the perfect rest and relaxation time.

Friday evening, I picked her up from school 
and we stopped for {amazing} burgers and a gorgeous sunset 
and a gorgeous sunset 
before heading out to the desert.

When we arrived, I {well, the amazing resort employee} worked a sweet upgrade 
{thanks for the suggestion so long ago, Mark!}

Since we got in pretty late, we got into our pjs,
painted our nails,
and had dark chocolate while we watched a movie in bed.

The next morning, we picked up coffee at the local coffee shop at the resort
and then headed to the pool for the day.
It. was. awesome. {minus the incredible sunburn Carly got... sorry sis}

After a day of lounging at the pool, we took baths in our jacuzzi tub
before heading over to one of the yummy restaurants at the resort for chicken fajitas.
On the way, we met this sweet couple who swapped us photo for photo.

We {read: I} fell asleep to another movie classic.

Sunday morning, I enjoyed some time with Jesus
before we got ready to check out.
But not before taking some self portraits.

I dragged C to a {cute!} local coffee shop
and the farmers market
before heading out past the {thousands of} wind mills
to the {huge!} outlet center.
We each found a few fun outfits for great prices!

It was a wonderful weekend of relaxation, laughing, chatting, tanning, shopping and eating.
I love spending time with my sister
and it happens not often enough.
I'm so thankful we had these two nights together!

I love you sista! 
Again soon! :)