Thankful Thursday: A Short Week

Oh my, it’s been awhile since we had a Thankful Thursday around here! I have to admit, I missed it. And on this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful that it’s kinda like Friday!

The thing about a short week is, it’s rarely just the one day that feels special. The whole week seems to be impacted by the idea that everyone is taking off the same workday. It’s kind of magical (or maybe I’m just delighted by simple things).

On today’s Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for this short week because:

  • Meetings have been relaxed and casual.
  • I get an extra day with my main men.
  • Waking up on Monday was sort of like waking up on Tuesday.
  • I can have more than one post-game IPA after my soccer game tonight.
  • We get to have a whole weekend. And then we also have Sunday.
  • #WorldCup2014
  • Singing Happy Birthday to America.
  • Getting caught up at work since so many folks are out this week.
  • Fireworks.
  • Spending Friday in the Poudre Canyon.
  • Grilling with friends.
  • Cooking family breakfast three days in.a.row.
  • Sleeping in.
  • Maybe a quick Friday 5k.
  • Dressing up the little one in red, white and blue.
  • Waking up today was definitely like waking up on a Friday.

I hope you enjoy your short week. Have a safe and Happy 4th of July!

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Thankful Wednesday: Running

I’ve been wanting to write about the NYC Marathon since I got home from the race, but I keep getting intimidated by it. To express how I felt that day seems almost impossible. And, thanks to our digital world, I’ve already shared a lot of pictures, my race time, and other details about the race online in several formats (so sorry for the overkill!).

But, during this week of thanks, I have to express how thankful I am for running and especially for the opportunity to run the NYC Marathon. I finished the race in 3 hours  57 minutes and 3 seconds – exceeding my goal of 4 hours and 15 minutes by so much more than I expected.

Throughout the race my legs hurt, my left arm went numb and my feet ached, but the energy of the crowds and the excitement of running through the burroughs of New York kept me going. Also, a little prayer for special people in my life at the start of the hardest miles helped immensely.

When I hit mile 22, I knew I had a chance of finishing under four hours. And it was then that I started to really break down mentally and physically. But, lucky for me, that’s also when I hit Central Park.

Marathon

Literally thousands of people lined the streets with motivational signs and whistles, clapping, and loud cheers. On my left side, buildings reached up to the perfectly blue sky. And on my right, the golden leaves of hundreds of trees in Central Park sparkled.

When I saw the ‘1/2 Mile To Go!’ sign, I was passed by the 4-hour pacer and I became panic-stricken that I was going to miss my newly formed sub-4 goal. So, I kicked it into another gear … and pain shot through my knee.

At that moment, I realized I was literally giving every last piece of myself to get across the finish line. I put the pacer out of my head, confident in my timing, and gave all that I had to cross the finish. And, once I crossed, I cried.

Never in my life have I tried as hard as I did that day. Which, truth be told, may not be a good thing. But, it was certainly life changing. To know what could be accomplished and to understand what it feels like to fully give my all made me realize that I can do just about anything. If I try that hard in other aspects of life, there’s no telling what could happen.

Today I am thankful for running the best marathon and best race of my life. Running gives me peace, relieves stress, and keeps me sane. I’m thankful to have found a passion that compliments the rest of my life so well. Thanks for listening to me talk about the race one more time … I’ll stop now. :)

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Happy Thankful Wednesday! What are you thankful for today?

Thankful Monday: Thank You Notes

Well, today I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Great way to start off the week of Thanksgiving, let me tell ya.

Instead of counting blessings and giving thanks (which I was literally doing as I went to bed last night so, like, what happened??), I muttered angry phrases at other horrible drivers, yelled at my pug, and couldn’t stop thinking of my seemingly countless failings in life.

Obviously, this is not how I want this day or week of Thanks to go down. And, I am aware that I have more than most to be thankful for and I can’t let a case of the Mondays ruin today or any other day this week. So, I tried to cheer up… and failed.

Christmas music. Check. An inspiring email from my little sister. Check. A lot of coffee. Check, check, check. Better mood? Nope. What can be done with this awful mood!?!?!

Determined to feel thankful, I dove into a stack of thank you notes I’ve been meaning to write to everyone who contributed to my NYC Marathon Charity – the Jackson Gabriel Silver Foundation.

And, guess what? I finally feel better. I feel more thankful. By choosing to spread gratitude and harnessing the feelings of deep, deep appreciation I have for everyone who supported me throughout the four months of long runs, fundraising and one incredible race, I actually changed my mood.

I feel grateful and ready for the week. I’m motivated to do my work. I’m motivated to host our Thanksgiving visitors. I’m especially motivated for tonight’s run. Even better, I’m determined to fix those nagging failings and stressors I was focused on this morning.

So, if you’re struggling to find a reason to be thankful, pull out a stack of thank you notes and write a few to some deserving people in your life. I think it’ll help you find a lot to be thankful for and will help make your week of Thanksgiving that much more fulfilling.

Happy Thanksgiving week!! What are you thankful for?

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Thankful Thursday: Changing Leaves

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Turns out, it’s fall.

Yup, autumn is officially here in Colorado. There’s a chill in the air. The trees are radiant shades of orange, red and gold. It’s snowing in the high country (that’s what we call the mountains). Change is upon us.

Daylight savings is probably soon, too. Right?

I’m unsure of exactly when fall happened. In Crazytown (where I spend most of my time), there are no seasons. But in Fort Collins (where I actually live), autumn arrived at some point in the last few weeks and now that I’ve finally noticed … autumn is awesome (as is alliteration).

Of course, fall is just a precursor to the real event (Christmas). But, it’s nice to stop and smell the dead leaves, too. Autumn, just like ever other season, is another chance to start over. Another list to start (you know how I love lists). Another chance to get it right (whatever ‘it’ is).

Lately, life has been a little hectic with a side of emotional outbursts. But, I’m optimistic about the coming months. I’m looking forward to the chance to get it right. I am thankful for the changing leaves that alerted me to this season that’s zipping by at lightening speed. I plan to slow things down a bit and enjoy this time of year as much as possible. (And, I’m thankful it’s almost Christmas!)

In summary, in case you didn’t notice, fall is here. Take time to enjoy it. Happy Thankful Thursday, what are you thankful for today?

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Thankful Thursday: State of Mind

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Happy Thursday!

Well, it’s another day of rain for Northern Colorado and things aren’t looking good out there. Lots of flooding in our part of the state and the rain is still coming down. Please send us good thoughts to dry us up! And, if you’re in the area, be careful out there!

But, that said, I am thankful for today. I would be more thankful if there wasn’t flash-flooding but I am thankful nonetheless. Why?

 …. Running!

I know, you’re getting sick of me talking about running. I can’t help it! I think about it all.the.time.

This week, I’m thankful for running because it has had a very positive impact on my state of mind in recent weeks. Endorphins aren’t just giving me a runner’s high every so often. Oh no. I’ve been better equipped to handle stress and all the ups and downs of life. I’ve been happier, more calm, more relaxed, and have experienced less anxiety. And, I believe it’s due to running a lot (like a whole helluva lot).

There are a ton of great quotes that sum up how running really does impact your overall well-being (you can find 41 of them here) and these are a few of my favorites:

  • I run because it’s so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought. – Arthur Blank
  • If you train your mind for running, everything else will be easy. – Amby Burfoot
  • Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about. – Patti Sue Plumer

And this one seems especially fitting this week:

  • When it’s pouring rain and you’re bowling along through the wet, there’s satisfaction in knowing you’re out there and the others aren’t.  – Peter Snell

I hope you find your never-ending runner’s high. Stay dry out there!

Happy Thankful Thursday!

P.S. Clearly the image above isn’t about running but it is amazing state flag art I recently purchased from my friend, Matt. (State of mind. State flags. Kind of all goes together, no?) Aren’t they awesome!?

Image via Matt’s Instagram

Thankful Tuesday

Sometimes it’s challenging to be grateful.

It’s easy to complain. It’s easy to feel down. It’s easy to feel shorted in life. But, when reading about hungry children, seeing a homeless elderly person, or talking with a sick parent, suddenly you realize how truly lucky you are. You see beyond the car not starting, the tough day at work and the extra five pounds. And all that you have to be grateful for comes into focus.

Wouldn’t it be great to harness that clarity and spread that slap-in-the-face gratitude all the time? I wish to be that way. I also wish to be able to give at a level that could eliminate the homelessness, hunger and disease that plagues so many. But, you know the saying, wish in one hand …

So, instead of wishing let’s get started be grateful and giving, shall we?

Today, I am thankful:

  • for having to pull my car window up manually (like pull the glass with my hands b/c the motor-thing in the door is broken)
  • for this inspiration to keep writing, even though I know I’m not yet where I want to be
  • for the health my little family enjoys
  • for dealing with the feelings and emotions of an 18-month old’s emerging personality
  • for my weird, still-not-flat, c-section stomach that holds on to an extra five pounds
  • for the challenges of the 9-to-5
  • for this video that reminds me of how little others have and how silly it is that I keep complaining about my car window or the 9-to-5
  • for having the food that fuels me and keeps this extra five pounds around
  • for the little kids standing at the bus stop today reminding me of how quickly my 18-month old will grow up
  • for attending a luncheon to learn about ways to give
  • for never having anything to wear
  • for being so busy I feel overwhelmed
  • for the spouse cooking dinner and keeping that extra five pounds around
  • for feeling uncertain about the future
  • for a house to clean and all that laundry to do – even though I allegedly never have anything to wear
  • for rarely being bored thanks to all there is to keep me busy
  • for good girlfriends to share a night out with
  • for discovering that there’s more to everyone’s favorite frenemy, Dwight, in real life
  • for being inspired by so many
  • for slowly, but surely, finding faith again and starting to feel less anxiety about the future
  • for my legs, feet, lungs and determination to run even though I’m perpetually tired and sore
  • for babies and puppies
  • for really, really good music to keep those runs going
  • for still thinking my eyes are too close together
  • for realizing I get a lot of sleep for being a parent so I shouldn’t really be tired
  • for seeing things a little clearer after a run (even with my too-close together eyes)
  • for siblings and parents and cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents and in-laws and children
  • for life

Thankful Thursday: Fast Friends

You know when someone comes into your life and you are instantly attached to them? It’s like you can’t really remember what it was like before you were friends? Has that happened to you? One day, no relation. The next, BFF?

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a handful of friends that I’ve had instant connections with over the years. One weekend in New Jersey (while visiting family), we met a long-time family friend’s sister (for the first time ever). We were all shocked by how easily she meshed with our zany crew. Next thing I knew, I had invited her to my wedding and she was making out with my cousin.

Or, even further back, I was starting my second year of rugby. My close friend and I were asked to pick a rookie to take under our wing. We took one look at the newest rugger in the line-up and said, “HER!” Insta-friends and still going strong.

Once, at a networking event, I learned all about one person’s family and passions within minutes. Years later, I’m still following their journey and non-profit work.

Another time, I was at a post-wedding party and the wife of high school classmate and I met for the first time. We spent the entire evening laughing. She called me the next day and asked me out on a friend date. We went to happy hour. And we’ve been laughing and knocking back cocktails ever since.

On the flip-side, I am so very fortunate to have friends with whom I’ve slowly built very strong relationships (I love them so much I have to be sure they know I’m thinking of them right now). My dearest friends and I get to see each other very frequently and text and call in between visits regularly. We all go way back to college and high school and I’m pretty sure started out as “fast friends” over card games and Key Light. You know who you are. ;)

But today, I’m writing about those very special folks who I became friends with in an instant. Even though we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like, we always pick right up where we left off.  We usually have to catch up on who’s working where, relationship status, and how the kids are doing – since our visits are so few and far between. But, it’s amazing how easy it is to share that information without feeling boastful and how eager I am to hear about their lives.

Last week, I had an amazing visit (and wished her luck on a big move) to my fast friend who asked me out. And today, I had lunch with one of my favorite rugger rookies.

On today’s Thankful Thursday, I am so very thankful for those fast friends that have become life-long friends.

Happy Thankful Thursday! What are you thankful for?

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Thankful Thursday: IPA Day!

Although I might talk a big game, I’m not exactly a beer geek or a beer snob. I’d like to think that I’m some kind of beer aficionado but I still have a lot to learn. In reality, I’m more of a student of beer.

But, even being the diligent student that I am, I’m embarrassed to admit that I had no idea it was National IPA Day! I just thought it was any other Thankful Thursday until received a tweet from a lovely co-worker alerting me to the importance of today. A celebration of my favorite style of beer!

So, clearly, today I am thankful for IPA Day (and awesome co-workers)!

Happy National IPA Day and Happy Thankful Thursday!

Which IPA are you thankful for? I am thankful for Lagunitas!

Mmmmm …. beer.

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P.S. If you haven’t tried a rye IPA, you must!

Thankful Thursday: Now

ImageI’ve been reading a lot of inspiring, go-getter material lately. The kind that makes you say, “If not now, when?” For example, I was lured in to this motivational story of immediate and gratifying change. And I was moved by this blunt and hilarious (and maybe crazy) gal to stop talking and start doing.

I keep thinking, “YEAH! Let’s DO … something.” But then I remember that I just moved. And I am training for a marathon. Hold the go-getting, I’m not doing ANYTHING.

But, wait. There is still so much to take away from these stories. Because, I just moved. And I’m training for a marathon. And both of these actions happened out of seizing life by the … er … by just doing it.

Last spring, the spouse and I were inspired and encouraged by our friends to put our house on the market. We didn’t think we had enough saved for a new house, we didn’t think our old place would sell, we were nervous and unsure. But, we just did it. And what happened? Our house sold in one day. (Holla!) We found our new house less than a week later. And everything that needed to happen to allow our move to go smoothly happened. Because we acted. (BTW – thanks for the advice, friends!)

And, last month, I got an email inviting me to participate in the NYC Marathon. Yup, the NYC MARATHON!! (Can we say MAJOR life goal?) But, was it the right time? Not to beat a dead horse, but like, I just moved. Right? Ugh … what to do …

Then, I was given every possible reason to do it: low fundraising goal, guaranteed entry, the race was on a weekend I’d be on the east coast anyway so no travel costs … wait, what?? YES! The race is scheduled for a weekend I was planning to be two hours away from the Big Apple. How in the world could I say no? Since then, family and friends have shown unbelievable support and are already asking how they can help and training has had an immediate impact on my body and my soul (man, I love a good runner’s high).

So, the get-up-and-just-do-it moments have come. And I grabbed on to them. Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of missed opportunities in my life (I’m no go-getting pro). And I’m sure I’ll miss out plenty of fun during the next four months of training. But the things that were (and are) really important to me, the big goals that I wanted deep, deep down inside of me, are happening (or have recently happened). Because I didn’t wait. I didn’t talk about plans. I didn’t over-analyze possible outcomes. It was time to live life to the fullest and make what I really wanted happen.

I know it all sounds nice, but I know what you’re thinking. “Great for you, but it’s not the right time for me.”

That reminds me of when I found out that I was pregnant – which we didn’t exactly plan. And by ‘didn’t exactly plan,’ I mean shocked the living daylights out of us. At first, I looked at so many opportunities as missed. I couldn’t do this or that because I was knocked up. Boo.

But, it didn’t take long to realize that I was given a whole new set of opportunities. I tell you what, nothing will motivate you to get your sh*t together like a 9-month deadline.

Suddenly, I was paying off debt and doing home projects I’d put off forever. I dove into my writing (some of my best posts are here) and cleaned up pretty much everything at work to prepare for a leave of absence. When the time came, I was more organized and prepared to have a baby that I could have ever imagined. (Except emotionally. Oh, and except the whole raising a child part … but I don’t think I’ll ever feel prepared or organized on that crazy-train).

Although it wasn’t what I had planned, it was full of opportunity to get a lot of other things done that I really wanted.

And that’s the beauty of now. Now is full of it’s own possibilities. It’s full of goals you might not have even realized you wanted. Of opportunities you didn’t even know were there.

So, I am thankful for now. Now might not be the time to travel to Europe or start a company but it is the time to achieve at least one (or several) of your life dreams. It is the time to do something on the life list no matter how small or unplanned. What are you waiting for?
You got this. Go get it.

Happy Thankful Thursday, folks. I am thankful for NOW!

June-stagram

Hi there, blog friends. Long time no chat, huh?

Sorry for the absence; June was straight cray. (Yes, I’m in my thirties and use words like totes and cray. Sorry. It drives my spouse … um, totes cray.)

Anyway, JUNE. Never in my life have I been busy like I was in June. This isn’t one of those I-am-so-busy-but-I-secretly-like-it bragging moments. This is pure shock that I actually survived. Here’s a few of the things that happened:

Insta-June

I tell you what, it was the kind of busy I’d rather not be again. I’m happy I was lucky enough to do so many things (like attend my sister’s nuptials, travel a lot, see Hillary Clinton speak, support my spouse in BBQ, be there for my family during a tough time, and launch a new product at work). But, next time, I hope all of the life events we experienced are spread out over a few months instead of jammed into one.

Anyway, some of the biggest news of the month is … we moved! We sold our house and bought more spacious, updated diggs. I feel so fortunate and am so very happy the moving process is over! We’re still getting things put in their place, but it already feels like home. The only downside is my complete inability to decorate is more obvious than ever before. I’m going to need a team of crafty, stylish gals to get this place into shape. (Volunteers?)

Hopefully, having a moment to write this post signals the return of the blog (how many times I have promised that this year … I’m becoming extremely unreliable). And, hopefully the rest of summer consists of pool-time, play-dates, spritzers, and popsicles (and running … but more on that later).

Have a great day, folks. Missed you tons and look forward to reconnecting here.