Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bits of Splendor Monday

Friday night B and I and Mia were blessed with a surprise, last minute date night. Both Asher and Bella spent the night with some sweet church friends of ours, so we took advantage and went out to dinner. Even though Mia was with us, we still kinda treated it like a date. She's a nut. That's the best word I have to describe her. Mia is crazy and silly and funny. She loves attention and to make people laugh and she is super friendly. Rarely is she not smiling or dancing or putting on a show.

When we got home from dinner, B decided to go running with me, so we put Mia in the jogging stroller and he took off ahead of me while I got my music and nike gps going. We had intended to run together, but I lost them somewhere in the neighborhood, which ended up being ok. I kinda needed the time to clear my mind and have a little talk with God. There's a whole story to that but I'm saving it for another post.

When I got back to the house the sun was just about gone and B and Mia were sitting on the front patio watering our grass and flowers. Mia has a weird thing about water. Like, she hates it. Hates it. So she was sticking really close to me. She was tired too, so she laid her head on me. A neighbors sprinklers were going across the street. There is something about the sound of sprinklers that I love, don't you? It was so quiet and nice and cool out too. So we sat for a little bit talking. I told B about some things God's been showing me. Some things I thought about on my run. I love talking to him because he helps me process. He listens. He just loves me. And that day, I really needed him to.

It was a moment I wanted to bottle up and keep forever. My sweet Mia Glory all snuggled up close. The girl who helped heal my broken heart. The girl who makes us all smile daily. The girl who reminds me of God's beauty and splendor with every new day. The girl who lifts her hands and sings at the sound of any worship song. I don't want to forget moments like that, holding her close.

 I sometimes think maybe I'm too deep of a thinker. Like I always think there is more to a story when someone is telling it. I think every thing means something and I'm always looking for what that is. I started wondering if maybe that side of me is too much sometimes. Maybe I shouldn't share it. Like sitting outside with my sweet girl and husband, listening to the sounds of the sprinkler and talking, maybe it should just be as simple as that.

But that's just not me. I feel things heavy. I see them deeply. Even the most simple of things.

And I think thats ok, because it's how God made me, right? and He must have made me this way for a reason. I don't ever want to miss an opportunity to learn something or to see Him. Even in the sounds of a sprinkler. I choose to look for Him in those things. I choose to think of my girls in heaven when I see hydrangeas. I choose to pray for and think of my sister Ginger when I look at the owl necklace she gave me and I wear so much. I choose to see God in sunsets and in random run-ins with people. I think He's in all of them. I think they all mean something.  I don't believe in chance. Do you?

I think there is so much more to see than what our eyes can only see. And I want to see those things. I don't just want to rush past people who could use a smile or a friendly conversation. I don't want to miss God when He tries to teach me something right in the middle of a run, or when He tells me the lady at the cash register could use a compliment. I don't want to miss the sound of barking dogs and running sprinklers, the sight of bright orange clouds as the sun goes down, or a song coming on at just the right moment.

I have stories, and connections, and parts of my heart for each one of my kids. Asher and Bella and Mia. All of them. But Mia. I've always felt something strong with her. 

Her middle name is Glory. the definition of Glory is the splendor or bliss of heaven. I sometimes wonder if maybe I feel and see things so strongly, because I have bits of my heart in heaven. Our sweet babies waiting.  You know I think of them every day. I don't cry for them. My heart is healed. They are in a perfect place far better than here, and one day I will be with them too. but I do think of them every day.

Right after we lost Faith, I would pray so hard to God to give me one more glimpse of her. I wanted to see her face one more time. I hoped maybe He would give me a dream of her. Or maybe a little vision of her playing. But He never did. Not in those ways.
Instead He gives me glimpses of her each day. In small and simple things.

So maybe I'm kind of deep and cheesy sometimes. But I've decided I don't really care. Because I think it just means I'm hyper sensitive to whats around me and there is too much beauty that I don't want to miss. It would be a sad world if I didn't see it that way, I think.

Talks with my husband, snuggles with my kids, the stillness of a quiet night...those are bits of splendor to me. I just don't want to miss them. Ever. That's why I do this and I hope you do too. To capture and cherish and remember life's little distinctions, because I believe they all mean something.

bits of splendor monday

Friday, April 27, 2012

Running {Week 3}

at some point these weekly running posts will slow down. promise. but as for now, this is a big part of whats going on in my life and this is, after all my blog. where i write about our life. so if i bore you with my running posts, i apologize but the purpose is to be able to look back weeks and months from now and be able to read where i started and what i learned along the way.

i already feel like i've come a long way from my first attempt at 1 mile and man, do i know ive got a long ways to go. i hit 3 miles on monday. it was a pretty good run. i felt good through out the whole run, and didn't have to lay down on the sidewalk of our house to catch my breath.

 like i did on my next 3 miler wednesday night...

lord have mercy it was hard. it may have been because instead of a "rest" day the day before, i went to spin. it might have been because i didn't drink enough water before hand, or maybe im not fueling myself correctly. it might have been because the temps have jumped into the 90's and my breezy 70 degree weather is a distant memory. it might have been because i was running into the sun for the majority of it. who knows. probably all of the above. im still learning these things, like what works, when it works. all that. sometimes i think i totally got this running thing and sometimes i feel like i don't.

{do you instagram? find me under bitsofsplendor!}

i know one thing. im determined. and i dont care what all you do or don't do before a run to prepare, if you aren't determined to finish, you won't. the second your legs start to ache or your head says to go home, you will. determination is key. every inch of me wanted to stop. every voice inside me {what? you don't hear voices too??} told me to give it up and stop. that 2 miles was good enough. 2.5 miles was good enough. 2.75 miles was good enough. but. i was determined. 3 miles was my goal and i was going to reach it. around 1.5 miles i wanted to quit. i seriously was praying and promising all kinds of things to keep me going. but by the end my mind was mush and i was in a black cloud of "just keep going laura, don't stop."

in fact my poor niece {my brother, sister in law and sweet niece live a street away} came running toward me as i run past her house. i had my headphones on but i could see her mouthing something. i knew if i stopped i wouldn't keep going, so i kept running. poor thing was just trying to show me her ladybug she caught. sorry layla!

i finished in 30:39. i literally fell down on our patio and laid there. kids running and playing all around me. brandon playing with some remote control car. pay no attention to the lady laying on the ground begging for water people. seriously. i asked for water from every person passing by and no one got me one. thanks guys.

crazy how one run can seem like a breeze and another one at the same distance, can seem like torture.
now that i've made it to the 3 miles, im going to stick here for a bit and try to get the miles to 9:30 each. i may have runs where i go further than that but i don't want to go below. i want to get to a point where 3 miles is easy peasy and then start the real training for the half.

Question: all you experienced runners or anyone who can give me an answer {why google when you can ask your blog friends right?} i've been getting a pain in one of my heels, more toward the back of my foot, not the bottom. it isn't enough to keep me from running but it's enough to bug me and hurt for a bit afterwards. is it my stride? my shoes? any suggestions? i don't want to do anything to injure myself so early on.

so summing up this 3rd week: im feeling pretty good about finding my pace and have figured out the breathing. only thing i need to make sure on is my stride and making sure to go heel to toe all the way through, because maybe that is what is making my heel hurt? i also need to mix up the music a bit. still love pandoras jesus culture but the songs were starting to repeat too much. so i tried hillsong united this week... any other suggestions? anyone? how's your running going? whats your goal? have you started? thinking about starting? let me know!

Oh and also! I've added a few new pieces to the shop and I'm offering 20% off until Tuesday! All orders will ship on or before next Friday, so you have plenty of time to get it before Mothers Day if you need to. 

 Some of the pieces have just one available, so if you see something you like, be quick!
Use Code MOTHERSDAY at checkout to get the 20% off.
Click Here to head there now
Happy Weekend. Love to You All. See you on Monday!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday {The V-Neck Tee}

 -I could wear a white v-neck tee every day of my life. To me, they are a definite staple to any closet and also super versatile.
-I love that you can play with fun accessories to change up the look of one.
-I wear them to sleep, to work out, with skinny jeans, boyfriends jeans, shorts, long skirts...
 -You can wear one with a cute scarf, or a chunky statement necklace. Wear a cardigan over it, or a blazer..
So many options. 

Get yourself a good v-neck white t-shirt if you don't already have one. You will thank me. Oh and then tell me where you got yours cause I'm always in search of the perfect one. In fact I have probably collected too many in search, but it has to be just right...The right length, the right sleeves. Not too fitted, not too loose. One that will keep it's shape all day and not get all stretched out and raggedy looking.

This Old Navy one has come pretty close to my crazy stipulations, but it's had it's fair share of wear so I need a new one. Do you have a go-to place for a good v-neck tee? Am I the only one with this obsession? Surely not....

 Scarf: F21 {9$ recent}
White V-Neck Tee: Old Navy {major clearance last year}
Boyfriend Jeans: Old Navy about 2 years ago!
Sandals: F21 {8ish bucks or so? recent}

P to the S. One of these days I will move away from the safety of my front door entry to take some of these pictures. But I can't promise anything.....what if the neighbors see me? Heaven Forbid ;)
also, these jeans? not sure they are the most flattering on me, but they are super comfortable so that tidbit won over flattery this time. My mom always taught us that beauty is pain, but sometimes you just gotta go with comfort, amen? Amen.

pleated poppy

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bits of Splendor Monday

Did you have a good weekend? B volunteered at the Texas Open yesterday so the kids and I decided to busy ourselves by going through their rooms and closets and cleaning em out. I lied. I decided to, and they just obeyed. I went through every toy and they had to say either "give away" or "keep."
It took forever. Especially because Bella treated it like a life or death decision. Asher was better because he had it stuck in his head that the toys were going to the kids in Africa who have nothing. He's obsessed with those kids. My sister went on a trip there a while back and brought back a bunch of pictures,  and now he can't forget about them. I think as soon as he can he will go on a mission trip to Africa. I'm not kidding. He lays awake at night thinking of ways to help them. He has such a heart on him, that boy.

I couldn't bring myself to tell him the toys were just going down the street to the local goodwill. Who am I to dash his dream if he thought Lightening McQueen might end up in the hands of a sweet kid in Africa.

Cleaning things out does my heart good. I really love simplicity. I think it just makes life easier, don't you?

After a day of cleaning and organizing and talking about the kids in Africa, I had barely eaten, so when B got home we went to Chikfila for dinner. And I sure did scarf down a chikfila chicken sandwhich. And I sure did think it would be a good idea to try to go run my 2.5 miles 30 minutes after that. And I sure did regret it. I mean I still got it done. I ran my 2.5 miles in about 26:00 minutes, but let me tell you, it was rough. My legs were achy, my mind was scattered, and my stomach was not happy. But I've taken on the motto when it comes to running, that once I start, I can't stop.  I was so glad when I turned the corner into our neighborhood at the end of that run and saw the kids and B waiting for me.

I know they won't always be able to, like when I start getting into the higher miles, but for now, they wait for me out front. I mean it's not all about me, they are playing with their neighbor friends and riding their bikes. But its so cute cause they wave at me as I start off, and then run toward me like it's been years apart, when they see me coming back.

I'll tell you something super cheesy now. It makes me so excited for the day that I finish the real race. They are going to be able to watch me through this whole thing and then see me finish it. I love that. I always think the best thing we can do for our kids is to live out what we teach. I hope they remember their momma setting out to do something and then doing it. Gosh that gives me more inspiration than I could ever to describe. Even when the chikfila sandwhich is yelling "stop! you crazy lady!"

You know what else is super inspiring to me? All of the emails, texts, comments and people in my "real" life that have told me that my running has inspired them to start doing something themselves. It may not be running, but heck if I've inspired you to get your booty moving in some form of do something for yourself, to be fit and healthy and just feel good about yourself, then by golly ms. molly, my work here is done. That just plain makes me so excited. It really does. And I love to hear about what you're doing, so don't be afraid to tell me. I don't always get to respond to emails but I do try to. And I definitely do read every single one.

Which reminds me that I've had a few emails recently about Project Hope wondering what our next project will be. I already know what it is and it is truly another cause, close to my heart. I can't wait to tell you all about it, but I'm waiting until I feel the "release" that it's time to start another project. I am trying to be wise with my time and how I divide it. I know that every single thing I have on my plate is God inspired and produced. I know that each idea and desire I have is from Him. I just want every single one to happen in his timing. That said, our next project for Project Hope will be announced very, very soon. Promise. And I can't wait to tell you all about it.

Also I worked on a few new jewelry pieces for the shop this weekend too. I'm hoping to get it stocked for Mothers Day and plan to have a promo code for you to use when I do. So you can do some Mothers Day shopping and get it shipped to you in time to give away if you'd like. That's the hope and plan at least. I try to only work when the girls are napping. Especially Mia. She is like a bandit. Steals things off my work table and then runs like the wind. It's like she wants my full undivided attention or something. sheesh.

I've been doing more and more custom pieces as well. If there is something special you'd like, let me know! I love working together to make one of a kind pieces too. 

So how was your week? Hope it was beautiful and sweet. Cause life really is. So much beauty and blessing if we just keep our eyes open to see them all. Happy Monday---Here's to a new week my friends!

It truly is the little, distinct things that make life big. The important thing is taking the time to see them and I believe it can be in anything. A project, a recipe, a special moment or milestone,  maybe  just a word or picture you found encouraging. 

"You will miss what matters most in life if you are only ever looking for the spectacular"  

How did you find a little bit of splendor in your week? Share it with us!

Don't Forget: {PLEASE follow the rules!!}
-Grab a button so others can  join  us too! Or put a text link in your post.
- visit other people and make some new friends!
-please link directly to your post. And no giveaways!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Me and Running {week 2}

So this is my official second week of running and I have to tell you. I am loving it.
Last Saturday I was supposed to up my 1 mile to 1.5 miles and I got into a good rhythm and ended up doing 1.75. I jumped from not thinking I could ever go past 1 mile to doing 1.75 easily, in the matter of one day.

So what changed? Honestly, I think I figured out a couple of things I was doing "wrong" in the beginning. First, my breathing. I thought I was supposed to focus on breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth, which sounds right, but it's not. Instead, breathing in through both your mouth and nose at the same time, brings in more oxygen to your body, and your body needs the oxygen to keep going.  I found a good rhythm of about 3 breaths in and 3 breaths out, to every 3 steps. Does that make sense? If your just starting out and having a hard time breathing, try this out. It will make a big difference.

Second, I found my comfortable pace. Instead of trying to full out "run," I concentrate on an even pace that I can keep up for a while. My sister told me that if I wanted to start going farther, I needed to just find a good pace, even if it's slow, and work on my speed later. For some reason this was super freeing to me. 2 11 minute mile was my goal and if I got in under that then great, but it's not the focus. On Monday I started my 2 mile runs with this in mind. I started out where I felt good, and stayed there. No hurry, just a pace I could handle and feel good at. I ended up doing my first 2 miles, in about 20:30, with an average of 10:15 per mile. I have done my 2 mile run 3 times this week and this is right at about the pace I seem to be comfortable at.

So, that right there is something to learn. Don't think you have to do your mile in a certain time. Give yourself freedom to just run it at your comfortable pace. Do it in your own time. If you are just starting out, time does not matter. Focusing first on finding your pace, and being able to do a full 2 miles without stopping should be your goal this second week. And if you can't do a full 2 miles, do what you can. But push yourself.

Ok the last thing that has made a HUGE difference in my running is the music. Last week I talked about struggling to find the right music to get me motivated. Well, Saturday, I put it on Jesus Culture pandora station and have not gone back. Honestly, for me, this is the type of music that drives me and inspires me and gets me going. I was trying all kinds of other music that just wasn't me, thinking I needed it to get my booty moving. When in reality, my spirit was craving some good worship music. It really does make a huge difference. This may not be for everyone, and that is totally ok. Find whatever gets you going and inspires you to push through, because that's what you need. At moments I want to stop and walk I just listen to the words of the song and use it as a sort of prayer time, reflection, and just a time I quiet my mind. It's all His.
This revelation has made running a totally different experience.

And that brings me to where I want to go with this. For me, all of this training and finishing the race goes deep. It's more that just wanting to finish a half marathon to say that I did. It's more than the time I finish it in, or the other people who run a long side me. It's much more than the weight I might lose, or the change in my body that I know will happen.

It's about being healthy, and fit, and focused on something physically that is good for me. About putting time and effort into myself and this body that has worked extra hard over the last few years. Most of all, it's about learning to love that body.

I caught the shadow of myself running, as the sun was going down tonight and I felt proud. It may sound so cheesy, it may sound way too deep for you, but I don't really care, it's true. I haven't always treated my body well, and I sure as heck haven't always loved it, but that's changing. I'm changing that. I have scars and hips and marks that show the babies I've carried,  and it's time I become proud of those things.  It may not be perfect, it may not be what I want it to be or what society says it should be, but to God it's beautiful. It's his masterpiece. I'm His masterpiece. You're His masterpiece. Who are we to criticize it?  My prayer is that this journey would not just be about crossing a finish line, but it would be about finding myself in Him even more.

So, the biggest thing I've learned this week, from running, is to find your self in it. Find your pace, find your passion for it, find the music that inspires and moves you, and find your reason for it. Find who and what you're running for, and then do it. This will all look different for every person, but once you know these things....You can't fail.

Saturday I jump to 2.5 miles and then next Monday I go to 3 miles. I'd be lyin if I said I wasn't nervous about this, I feel like I'm just getting comfortable with 2 miles. But, last week I thought 2 miles was miraculous. So, I just gotta remember my mile at a time.

Did you start running this week? How are you doing with it? I'd love to hear about where you are with it and if you are struggling with something in particular let us know, maybe we can help.
And again, if you are an experienced runner, feel free to give us beginners your advice or tips! Tell us what keeps you running!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

5 Things I Don't Want You To Know About Me

 - I am not a morning person and have slacked off on getting up early to have my quiet/prayer time. This week has been the first time in a couple of months that I intentionally woke up to do it. But, even then I struggled to focus and probably "checked" my phone 5 times too many.
- I "check" my phone too much. So I will purposely leave the sound off, leave it in the car, or "lose" it somewhere in the house, so that I'm not tempted to keep "checking" it.
- During the week I make the girls take a nap, or have quiet time on days I really need a break.  Mia always {happily} takes one, but Bella stopped taking naps a long time ago. Some days I will randomly call a "quiet/nap time" because I can't possibly take one more question about the sky, the birds, my hair, my shoes, ....Bella talks non-stop. Non.Stop. And sometimes I just need a break. And I think breaks are good for us all. 
 -Sometimes I forget that Brandon has just worked a full day and when he gets home I sort of "clock out" for the day. He takes over, without complaint and with such selflessness, that sometimes I just let him. This isn't always the case, but some days it is. I'm thankful for a husband like him who loves in the ways that he does. I may forget some things, but I never forget to be thankful for him and his grace.
- I battle hard with my body image. I have since I was a little girl. I can write a post about being who you are and being confident in it, then the next day I'm in tears because of what I'm seeing in the mirror. I take strides forward, only to take one step back. I know this is one of my greatest battles, because it is one my greatest strengths as well. God has been doing a big work in me with this lately. He's working on me and showing me some deeper things. Spiritually, I am strong in who I know Christ has made me. I have walked through fire and come out on the other side. I am confident in who God says I am and who He has called me to be, YET, I fight against my flesh and what I think I should look like. What I want to look like. I really hate admitting this insecurity but at the same time I know it's an area God wants to use and I pray that He does because it's hard to let people know about it.
Why am I telling you this? I subscribe to "Inspired to Action" and this was what today's post was about. I loved it because if there is something I always hope and pray to be, it is transparent. Real, relate-able and genuine. No one can relate with perfection. But every person can relate with honesty, struggle, and vulnerability. Even if we battle something different, we can relate with the pain and struggle that comes with every trial.

When we admit and open up about our shortcomings, God can come in and use those very things in our life. I never want to represent my life in a perfect way. It is not perfect. We work daily toward creating a good home life for our children, to loving each other and strengthening our marriage, to loving others and shining God's light through our actions and words. BUT sometimes we fail. We sin. We make mistakes. We argue. We lecture. We aren't perfect. No one is. I don't want to be, because it is in my imperfections that God is made strong and more real in my life. In my neediness and brokenness, He is made strong.

Praise the Lord for that.

Even as I tried to focus, and read and pray this morning, and felt my self struggling to do it, I knew that God's grace was covering me. That He doesn't care whether I give him 2 hours or 20 minutes. He just wants my time. My heart. Me. And today, I woke up. Yesterday I didn't. Today I did and there's something to that. God doesn't want our works, He wants us.

It's easy to think your alone. It's so easy to compare. Easy to read a blog, or stalk someones facebook and think they have it all together.   But it's just not the truth. And if more of us are willing to show the broken parts of us, the need for grace, our down falls and struggles, then light is exposed. Truth is revealed and made known. Christ is more greater seen in us and best of all He can use it for His good.  That's my biggest desire of all.
Use it Lord. Use me. Every part.

What is one thing you don't want me to know about you?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bits of Splendor Monday

We had a really good, quiet weekend. No plans. Nowhere to be. Home made waffles, morning snuggles, lots of coloring and pretend house playing. Talks about Jesus and loving people. car tracks that stretched from one room to the next and a lot of hours spent outside with neighbors and friends.  My favorite kind of weekend.
I finally cleaned out my closet too. And I got my first runners injury.....Ok not really, I stubbed it really bad on my closet door and it is now shades of purple I've never seen. A runners injury would sound so much cooler. I did manage to still have one of my best runs on Saturday though. More on that later this week, for now I'm off to enjoy this gorgeous day.

Enjoy today friends! Each new one is such a gift.

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

bits of splendor monday

It truly is the little, distinct things that make life big. The important thing is taking the time to see them and I believe it can  be   in anything. A project, a recipe, a special moment or milestone,  maybe   just a word or picture you found encouraging. 

"You will miss what matters most in life if you are only ever looking for the spectacular"  

How  did you  find a little bit of splendor in your week? Share it with us!

Don't Forget: {PLEASE follow the rules!!}
-Grab a button so others can  join  us too! Or put a text link in your post.
- visit other people and make some new friends!
-please link directly to your post. And no giveaways!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

the thing about running

I've been doing spin off and on for a while now. Spin is tough. It's a challenge. Adjusting to the narrow seat alone is a huge milestone {and every one who has ever done spin says AMEN}.
BUT. running is a whole other story my friends.

I posted last week about wanting to run in the Rock n Roll Marathon here in November. My sister who has ran in quite a few marathons, wrote me up a training schedule.  I got a ton of questions about the schedule and a ton of you who had some good input about running. Which I loved. And which also got me thinking that I want to sort of document this whole process of training.

For a few reasons.....
#1 it keeps me super accountable.
#2 if you are thinking about running any future marathons yourself {or just running in general} you can follow the journey of someone who is lit-er-all-y starting from scratch.
#3 one of the main reasons I keep this blog is to document our life in general. The idea of having weekly posts to read back on about this journey would be so cool to me.

I ran my first mile last Wednesday. I was supposed to aim for 11:00 minutes and I finished it in 10:37. Not bad. But something I quickly realized is that cardio wise, this is a whole other ball game from spin. I had to concentrate really quickly on breathing right. Which for some reason didn't just come naturally. It's different when your running as opposed to spinning. On top of that, my sister told me I couldn't stop running, because stopping and then starting again only makes it harder. I'm telling you she's a tough trainer. I kept hearing her in my head --"It's just mind over matter"

I also made the mistake of putting Adele on my pandora station. Kinda not the right sort of "get your booty moving" music I needed. But I finished the mile and it felt really good afterwards. Even if I felt a little nauseous.

{this was from my instagram right after}

The next day, that Thursday, I did another mile and finished it in 10:17. I tried out Jason Mraz this time and it helped a little. Still not quite what I was looking for.  Still searching for the right pandora station. Suggestions welcome.

Then Friday came and Easter weekend and I didn't run. So I decided to start over and make this week my first official week of training. For the first week I'm supposed to focus on 1, 11 minute mile for 3 days and 1 "longer" run on Saturday with 1 1/2 miles.

Ok great.

Now here's where I made a mistake. On Monday, I decided to try and beat that 10:17 minute mile from the week before. And I just took off. Like literally, I just took off like "I got this".... Black Eyed Peas as my pandora station, feeling all good.
But very quickly I could feel that it was going to be harder. I couldn't figure out why. My lungs were on fire and I had to stop a couple of times. {Which remember I'm not allowed to do.} I had a tiny bit of pain in my shins so I started to focus on my stride instead of my breathing. And ended up being super winded within minutes. Duh. Such a rookie mistake.

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

I still finished that mile in decent time. 10:36 or something like that but I was SPENT after I was done and it was torture. All because I got too focused on just taking off and beating that original time when I should have just focused on doing it properly. Slow and steady and all that, right? Now I could totally make that right there into a lesson of the day, but I think you get it.

I ran again on Tuesday and it was much better. I took my time focusing on the breathing and my stride and didn't look at my time. But wouldn't you know my little GPS + NIKE app stopped working during the middle of my run anyway. Sort of ironic wouldn't you say. So I have no idea what my time was, but that's ok.

My next run will be tomorrow morning. It was supposed to be tonight but B went to a last minute basketball game. Usually I've been going in the evenings. The weather has been perfect in the evenings. I'm dreading the super hot Texas weather though ya'll.

For those of you wanting to follow along with my training schedule, keep in mind, there are plenty of training schedules out there. I've heard a good one for beginners is Couch to 5k. Make sure you find what works best for you. Just because this schedule works for me, it may not be a good fit for you.

We had to make some changes to it since I ended up officially starting this week instead of last, but basically it's 4 days a week of running. Run- Mon/Tues, Rest Wednesday, Run-Thursday, Rest Friday, Run-Saturday {the longer run} and Rest Sunday.  This is how I chose to do it, you can do your runs/rests whatever days of the week you want. And sometimes you may need to change it up like I had to today. That's ok as long as you are getting the 4 days of running in.

For the first week it's 3 days of 1, 11 minute mile. And then 1 1/2 miles on Saturday. I am running outside so if you do this on a treadmill you can adjust your speed to get to that timing. The Nike + GPS app on my phone tells me where I'm at at each quarter mile so I know whether I should speed up or not. It's genius.

Next week is the same schedule but with 2, 11 minute miles each day and then 2 1/2 on Saturday. This is all working toward my first goal of 3, 9:30 miles easily. Then the real training begins. Oy vey.

First Week lessons and tips:
-Focus on your breathing and stride. Not your time. Who cares what your time is at this point.
-Find some good booty moving music.....I'm still working on finding the right one for me. My sister likes to listen to Hillsong because she uses it as part of her time with the Lord. I think that's great, but at this point, I can't do that. I need some music that gets me moving. Like Shakira. Cause these hips ain't liein y'all.
-Get the nike + GPS app if you have an iphone. Again, it's genius.
-Make sure you have good shoes. I have a few different pairs from over the years. The ones I use and love are old, but they'll do until I get into the major miles. But...your shoes make all the difference so make sure you are comfortable in them.

Again. I'm a beginner trying to help other beginners. All you professional runners, feel free to interject or add some of your wise words. I love to hear it. No I really do. That sounds sarcastic but it's not. Promise.

And that's all she wrote my friends. Let me know if you have any questions. I will reply to them in the comments in case someone else has the same question. If you are just starting out with me, thinking about it, or are a seasoned runner, I'd love to hear from you.  Or if you just want to say "Run Laura Run!" I'll take that too.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday {Closet Diving}

Some people like to go dumpster diving....
I like to go closet diving. 

Every now and then I get the urge to do something different. I can sometimes get in a cycle of the same look or even the same pieces of clothing.
It's just easy. You know it works. You put it on. Done.

So I decided to dig a little deeper into my closet for something I haven't worn in a long time.
I got this yellow striped top from the Limited, years ago. And by years ago I mean like maybe 7 or 8 years ago.  I've gone through many waves of clothes over the years…either because my taste changes, or my size changes from being pregnant and up and down so much.
But a few things have made it through all the years and changes. This is one of them. I just can't say goodbye to the yellow and the stripes. 


It's pretty fitted and also kinda cropped. So I put it over a white collared military style button up. When I do this with a fitted top over, I like to pull the collar up so it sort of stands up taller. I love a nice stiff white collar. It's so classy and I think it looks better to have it standing up than pulling it all the way down and have the collar lay flat. Does that make sense? Just something I've found that can make or break the look. 

 Also when I wear a collared top sometimes I  like to sort of half haphazardly tuck it in. Because collared blouses are so preppy looking as it is, depending on the look I'm going for, sometimes I'll only tuck the front in, or even one side of the front. It sort of looks effortlessly chic.

I wore my trusted Express flares, but I could also have worn some boyfriend style jeans and the same Forever 21 platform heels and it would probably work too. Might try that next time. I like pairing a bit of a boy-ish feel with ultra feminine.

I'm not always in the mood to go closet diving. I have to be in the right mood, cause it takes a little more effort. Sometimes you might put something on and realize it really shouldn't still be in your closet. But sometimes it will resurrect a piece of clothing you totally forgot about and that is when it's 

The watch I'm wearing is also an oldie but goodie. Cuff watches used to be really in there for a while. B got this one for me when we were dating. I used to wear it all of the time. I decided to give it a go yesterday and I think it worked really well with this outfit. It also reminded me how much I love it. I'm thinking I'll bring it back into my regular rotation. 

The great thing about "style" these days is that anything goes really. There are so many era's that have made their way back, so really it's just about dressing however you feel comfortable. Trends are fun, but sometimes a classic piece you have way back in the archives of your closet from years ago can be made into something just as stylish today.

Can you think of something like this that you have in your closet and haven't worn in a while?
Next time you get in a little bit of a rut and get the urge to run to Target for a new top and a popcorn combo, try shopping your own closet first!

White Collared Military style Blouse: Express
White and Yellow Striped Top: the Limited
Flared Jeans: Express
Belt: Express
Shoes and Earrings: F21
Watch: Fossil

pleated poppy

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bits of Splendor Monday


4 Easter Celebrations
2 birthdays
4 Easter Egg Hunts
104372 pieces of candy
1 Blue bonnet photo session
Multiple bug bites
A couple minor melt downs  
3 Easter Baskets..
1 mom who still can't believe she has 3 little chicks.
Lots of Family
Too much food
1 Cadburry Egg.
3 Easter Services
31 decisions for Christ at those services
1 reason we celebrate

How was your Easter weekend?

I crashed and burned last night, so I apologize the link up is late. But I can't wait to read what you have to share! Happy Monday sweet friends!

bits of splendor monday
It truly is the little, distinct things that make life big. The important thing is taking the time to see them and I believe it can  be   in anything. A project, a recipe, a special moment or milestone,  maybe   just a word or picture you found encouraging. 

"You will miss what matters most in life if you are only ever looking for the spectacular"  

How  did you  find a little bit of splendor in your week? Share it with us!

Don't Forget:
-Grab a button so others can  join  us too! Or put a text link in your post.
- visit other people and make some new friends!
-please link directly to your post. And no giveaways!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

We grabbed these pictures on Sunday afternoon. Right before I kicked off my shoes and threw on my velour pants. Sunday's are long...

I'm still new to this whole, "hey take a pic of my outfit babe!" So I was feeling a little self conscious at first. 

I said to B at one point.."wait, was that my flattering side?"..."Do I even have a flattering side?" and without even a second of thought he said "they are all your flattering side." 

Yes I know, he just loves me. And that right there is one of the many reasons why I love him. I felt so dumb taking these pictures at first, but mostly because I was worried he thought I was dumb. I have no idea why I would think this way because B is honestly my biggest encourager and supporter. No matter what. Even at taking pictures of my outfit so I can share it on my blog. And I love that about him. I know that about him. But sometimes I still doubt it. How come??

This got me thinking about insecurities and assumptions in general.
It's something I've battled before in my life, but recently what I've learned is that beyond that, I battle with assuming. Like I assume I know what someone is thinking. I assume people will think I'm dumb or look ridiculous. Or I assume I'll be rejected...You get the point. Basically I assume too much. And it plays into my insecurities. 

Most of the time it's just that I'm caught up in my own head, thinking I just *know* people are criticizing me or judging me. And sometimes, its actually kept me from doing things.
I trap myself.

Don't you know that is just what the enemy intends. Because staying inside ourselves, staying focused on all of our little insecurities, or shortcomings.... It just keeps us focused on ourselves. Not others.
I've learned it really doesn't have much to do with my confidence. I know who I am and I'm learning more of who that is each day.
More importantly I know who God says I am.
But it doesn't keep those nagging insecurities from trying to creep in.

Sometimes we just gotta get out of our own head and go do something. When I'm caught up in my thoughts, insecurities and assumptions, it tells me I need to go do something for someone else.
Maybe with an encouraging word, or a compliment or helping them in some way...
It gets my focus back in line.

And honestly? Most of the time? People are thinking a lot less about you than you think. I have to remind myself of that when insecurities start trying to creep in.

Like when B was taking these pictures and I was having all these thoughts about looking dumb and worried the neighbors would see me, and on and on....Pretty sure he was really just thinking about getting inside to turn a game on ;) 

What about you? Have you ever struggled with this?

Cami: Express
Blazer: Forever 21 {29$}
Jeans: Express
Shoes: Nine West {Ross}
Owl Necklace: gift from my sister in law
Bracelets: Mix from F21 and Aldos
Earrings:Big Hoops: F21
Ivory Cameo Ring: Splendor Shop

So about this outfit....

This blazer is one of my favorite pieces. It's a go-to for sure and you can wear them in lots of different ways. And blazers aren't just for the colder months. One spring/summer trend I can't wait to try is pairing a blazer with some cute shorts. 
Find yourself some key pieces you love and interchange them for different looks. Like my maxi skirt from last week, this blazer is also one of those kind of pieces. Shopping this way helps stretch out your wardrobe and thats key to shopping on a budget!

 Also, did you know that Express has some crazy good coupons pretty often? Sign up for email and get them sent to you, or you can have them mailed also. I always use a coupon on regular priced things there. They also have sales pretty often too! 

What are some spring/summer trends you want to try?
pleated poppy