Thursday, January 31, 2013

Graffiti Run 5k

I haven't talked much about running since I ran the Rock n Roll Half in November. Honestly, I got really burned out on running right before I ran the race. I was basically running on empty--no motivation, no will, no energy, no nothin. Except for the fact that I was determined to finish and hug my kids/husband at the end, I had no inspiration.

After my long break I started back on January 7th. It was cold but I decided that no matter what, I was going to start running again that day. So I packed the girls up in the double jogger, started my nike run app and went for it. I hadn't ran in nearly 2 months. My time was slow---partly because of pushing the girls, and partly because my lungs had to remember what cardio was like and partly because I didn't care about my time. Just that I was doing it. 

I've been running anywhere from 2-4 miles about 3 times a week since and slowly finding my love for it again. I would love to do the Rock n Roll again this coming November, but that depends on a couple of factors so I will probably not be able to make the choice until it gets closer.  In the mean time I've decided to do as many smaller races as I can {5k's and maybe 10k's} and have fun with it. 

Enter the Graffiti Run. I'd never heard of a Graffiti Run, I'd only heard of the Color Run, but it's basically the exact same concept. If you are like my dad, you will not understand why on earth a person would want to run in a race with people throwing color on you along the way. You will think it's weird and you will wonder if the color comes out of your clothes and you will again wonder why on earth a person would want to run in a race like this. 

Or you'll be like me and about 5000 other people {totally made that number up} and think it would be fun. And just so you know, the color is more of a powder, and it doesn't hurt when you get hit with it.  And it does wash out of your clothes

My sister Jacquelin, sister in law Heather and a friend of ours Courtney, all did it together.  If you are going to do a run like this, do it with a group of friends or family---it makes it 10x more fun. I really don't think it would have been near as fun if we hadn't done it together.

I did quickly realize that if the Rock N Roll had a polar opposite, it would be the Graffiti Run.....It is super laid back. There are people walking/running/jogging, at all ages and physical levels. In fact we ran past one little girl who was so little and covered in orange color that she looked like a little cheeto.

They tell you to wear as much white as you can. So we wore white tee shirts and Courtney made us all white tutu's. Because basically if your going to do a crazy run like this, you might as well go all out and have fun with it! 

 We look all glowy and clean in our "before" pic, don't we? 

When you get your race bib, they give you a pouch of color to throw on each other to start out. During the actual race, you run through a cloud of people and color being thrown at you at certain markers so by the end you are covered in it. 


If you want to sort of get your feet wet and get a feel for running in a race, realizing it is not serious in the least bit, but still want a race experience---do a Graffiti or Color Run. It was a blast!




If you have ever ran in a race like this, I'd love to hear your experience. Did you love it, would you do it again?

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Monday, January 28, 2013

A Sweet Giveaway For The Girls....






I am so excited to introduce one of my very good friends to ya'll today. 
She and I have been friends since middle school {which basically means about 18 years!!}. 

Vanessa is owner of a little boutique style shop for little girls called LadyBows. She makes the cutest little accessories for girls of all ages. She is my go-to for all of my girls' bows and has been since Bella was a baby. I have loved to see her business grow over these last couple of years. 


Vanessa made my girls and my niece Olivia, tutus to wear for Valentines Day with matching bows.
What little girl doesn't love to dress up, right?  My girls are no exception.... What I really love is that they can {and definitely will} wear these through out the year. 
Because basically, if they could wear a tutu every day they would.


Vanessa has so sweetly offered to give a tutu and matching Valentines bow or headband of your choice to one of you! 

Any little girl will LOVE this!


♥ Here's How To Enter ♥
Mandatory Entry:
1}Like LadyBows on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know you did {one entry}

Additional Entries:
2}Tweet, Instagram, or Facebook this giveaway. Please leave a link for your twitter and facebook shares & tag us on instagram: @ladybows10, @bitsofsplendor
{one entry for each way that you share}

 3} Tell me who you would be giving this to if you won....daughter, neice, cousin, god-daughter, friend? 

4} and- if you are a follower of the Bits of Splendor blog give yourself another entry   

*Be sure to leave a separate comment here in the comments for each entry*

  Winner will be announced this Friday February 1st

Be sure to check back then.Vanessa will ship off the goodies to the winner Monday morning so you are sure to get them in plenty of time for Valentines.
If you want to do some shopping before then, Vanessa is offering 20% off in her etsy shop
Just enter code "splendor" at checkout. 
Or you can order through her facebook page and get 10% off by mentioning this giveaway!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

♥ Valentines Day Love ♥

With February just around the corner, I've got Valentines Day on my mind...I don't typically go all out as far decorating. Just little touches here and there. But we do like to make a big deal out of the day itself. It's just fun, and I love any reason to celebrate. Especially when it involves making those we love and care about feel extra special.

I thought I'd share some of the things I'm loving for V-day and either plan to do, or will do again this year.
 
You can find these cute mailboxes in the Target Dollar Spot. I love the idea of gluing them to candlesticks.


Bella and I made these last year for her to hand out to her friends and some of our family. They are super easy and also super yummy. Find a cute printable to package them with by following the link




Another cute free printable. I did this for Asher's teachers last year and also my sisters.
Fabric covered button earrings are easy and fun to make.



Source
Cute and inexpensive idea.
Use the blank printable version to make it personal.



Source 
I have a chalkboard sign almost identical to this in my kitchen and this little banner will be perfect for it



Love the gold and pink together



Brownies on the bottom, cake and then icing.
Think I'm going to try these for our Valentines party this year.




 Source
I think this would be a really cute way to give a pair of those favorite Target socks I talked about in my last post.  And then add a nice nail polish. Maybe as a teacher gift?




How do you like to celebrate Valentines Day?
Do you go big, or prefer to skip it all together?



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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Currently Digging


>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<

1. This stuff.  Use it on my lips every night. Love it.
You can get it at Bath & Body Works or Sephora.
 



2. This print from my friend Danielle.



It's a free printable so if you love it like I do,
grab one for yourself here.


3. The word Sparkle. I don't know what it is but lately I've been obsessed with it. One of those words that's been stuck in my head lately. I decided it was a perfect word for Bella. I'm doing a little room update for her and made a banner to go over her "dress-up" mirror.  Basically I needed an excuse to use it somewhere :)


4. This Devotional.
It's simple but points you straight to an every day relationship with Jesus.


5. B.B creme.  It's basically magic. And perfect for the girl like me who doesn't wear face makeup or foundation but would still like a little coverage. I use two different brands depending on how I feel or what the weather is like.

This one gives more of a matte finish. I'll use this one if it's humid or hot that day.




This one has a more dewy finish. I use it when it's cooler and dry out and I need a little bit of a glow.


I've only tried these two but there are a ton of brands out there...if you have one you love tell me about it!


6. This show.
You guys.
Not much else can be said here.
If you aren't watching this show you need to be. 
The wisdom that comes out of Uncle Si's mouth is invaluable.





8. This journal/notebook from Target.
 I'm kind of addicted to new journals and notebooks....I couldn't pass this one up.
And they are only 2.99$. Come on. No question.
"She's a dreamer. A doer. A thinker. She sees possibility everywhere."


9. These earrings.
I mean really, how cute?



10. These fun knee high socks from non other than Target of course.

I love them for so many reasons. First they're just fun. There are a ton of different designs and colors including neon polka dots and chevron. I actually got them for our "favorite things" party in November for 8 other women ranging from my grandma to a college aged girl.
They are one-size fits all. Perfect for boot seasons.
And basically just plain cute.
Also, they are only $2.50 a pair and super comfortable. 

>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<

What are you loving right now?

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Grace {Not Perfection}

 

 Coming in to the new year, I thought I knew what God wanted for me. Not in the full context as in- I knew what the year would hold- but in the context that I thought I knew what I should seek for in my relationship with Him and for my "goals" for the new year.

I laid down for a nap a couple of weeks ago and as I did, I asked the Lord what my "word" for the year was. I had sort of an in between sleep and awake "nap" because it was a Sunday afternoon and my kids don't believe in Sunday afternoon naps which I think might be blasphemous, but anyway.

I woke up from my nap with one string of words running through my head..."out of the overflow"
and I knew instantly what they meant.
Or at least I thought I did.

See, at the end of last year, I found myself feeling really empty. Physically {and spiritually}
I literally felt as though I was running on empty many times. And the truth is I was.
There were many different things I was juggling...and I was trying to be perfect at all of them.

Never would I have admitted that then, or even realized it. But at the root of my soul...the really deep parts of my heart...if I am being honest, I battle with perfection.

When I do something, or go after something, I want to either be really good at it, or I don't even want to do it. It's extreme. No grey area for me. No grace.

Even just a couple of days ago I thought these words ---"Out of the overflow"....
meant that eveything I would strive to be "better" at this year...my kids, my home, my marriage, my ministry, my business...would all have to be out of the overflow of what was already there. Meaning a fullness from Him.

Being the person I am, I took these words and decided what I needed to "do" to make that happen. 
I needed to buckle down and make the time to fill myself with Him....his word, his truth, his promises...

I examined where in my day I could make the time to fill myself....in the mornings when it's only Bella and me, I could make that my quiet time to do my bible reading.
While I'm folding laundry or emptying the dish-washer...I could listen to a pod cast.
While I'm running I could listen to praise & worship on pandora.

I had a really good day the first day I did all of this. 
I thought I had it all figured out.

Which is pretty funny, because you would think I'd learn that just when I think I have it all figured out, it's then that I fall flat on my face and realize I never did.

See all those things were great goals and great "action" steps {which is so me--I instantly go to "ok what do I do to make this happen"}
....but then I fell on my face.

Not in the literal sense, but I had a day where I felt really exhausted, defeated, discouraged.... And it was right after the day where I felt like I did everything right... Where I filled all those action steps and went to bed feeling pretty good about myself only to wake up and have it all go wrong.

It's not that I think God wants me to fall on my face. It's not even God....thats the thing, it's me.
Any time I try to do things on my own, in my own strength or will, I always fail. Either right away or in the long run.

Action steps look pretty similiar to works.....In fact they are.
there isn't anything wrong with works unless, they are done without faith.
In that case, they can be pretty exhausting because they come from an empty place.
The two need each other...faith and works. The bible says so in James that faith without works is dead.
I struggle with finding the balance between the two. 
But.
There in the struggle...is Grace.

Whatever else I strive to do this year....
Whatever other words God gives me, they must first be grounded in one thing-  

Grace. 

Grace on the days I don't feel like a good mom.
Grace on the days I don't feel like a good home maker.
Grace on the days I don't feel like a good wife.
Grace on the days I don't feel like a good sister, friend....
the list could go on...and on.

One word stands out to me in all of those scenarios..
"feel"

Our emotions are a fickle thing.
I don't want to be grounded in my emotions.
I want to be grounded in grace.
I don't want to strive for perfection, I want to rest in God's grace. 
In Confidence that even when I don't feel good enough, God says I am.

That's a good place to be.

All the things I am striving for this year will only be perfected out of the overflow of a genuine, grace-filled relationship and reliance on HIM.
Not my own abilities or gifts or even downfalls and mistakes.

That is what I am seeking today. And every day this year. 
His grace is more than sufficient and it's made perfect in my weakness.
Thank the good Lord for that.

The one and only "action step" I have to do is open my hands and ask God for help. 

>>>>>><<<<<
P to the S.....
I've written about grace before. This reminder of my need for grace is not new to me. It's sort of a continuous theme in my life.
Please know this is not me declaring I figured it all out. Again.
I will probably need another reminder. 
I will probably fall on my face again.
But when I do, I will fall into and rest in the knowledge of God's grace.

Thats what he wants after all.
For me and for you.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Back To Life

We are back to normal today. Asher went back to school and the normal full work week started again for Brandon. It's just the girls and I during the day again.
I have mixed feelings on this. I am happy for our normal routine to be back, but I really enjoyed our life completely off schedule and partying every night until the wee hours.
And by partying, I mean watching lots of movies and shows till late at night, eating popcorn loaded with butter and ranch seasoning and sleeping until 10 am.
Basically gaining 10 lbs.
And getting hooked on Duck Dynasty.

I didn't plan on being "away" for so long but it's just how it happened. I really wanted to enjoy the time off with the my little family, knowing it would be gone way too fast.

But, I've realized how much this blog has become many things... one of them being a memory keeper for me and for my kids one day. I want to be a better steward of that part of it. Of keeping the memories written for them to read one day. Writing for them more.


It was honestly one of my most favorite Christmases. I don't know how to pin point what was different. I think it started with me. In my heart. Thats where it all starts after all. And as a mom and wife, I have the power to sort of steer the direction of everyone elses hearts and attitudes with my own. That weighed heavy on me and I was very aware of it.

I started out really purposeful to take the month of December in. To not let it rush by. To let certain things go. To do all the things I wanted to do to enjoy it, and not be disappointed if it didn't happen. Thats big for me. I always have huge expectations for how things will go, or how I think they will go, and when they don't happen that way, I get disappointed.

BUT, recognizing that about myself recently has been major. And really helped me enjoy these couple of weeks even more. Without expectations or grand scenarios set up in my head, they all played out perfectly without me.
Imagine that.


We did Christmas different this year inspired by something I read from Emily. Starting out the month, I talked to each of the kids about how we would do things.  Instead of lists a mile long of things they'd get tired of in a week, they each would get something to wear, something to read, something they wanted and something they needed....With a few extra unexpected surprises too.  


It set the tone for how the rest of our Christmas went. It truly set our hearts free to focus on what the season is about. That is what I have always wanted for my kids. To be blessed, well taken care of and provided for, but aware and focused on why we are here and who we live for, and of the others around us too. I think that is easy to maintain sometimes.
But it's possible and I am learning how to make it so in our family. Emphasis on the word learning, because we all make mistakes and I'm definitely no different.

Christmas morning we had chocolate chip pancakes and opened presents and took our time. It felt so good to take our time. We spent the rest of the day playing with our new things and then went to my grandmas that afternoon to celebrate Christmas with my side.
 

The first week of the break was packed with one party after the next. It was a ton of fun, but also pretty exhausting. By the time New Years week came we were ready to chill out at home. Instead of going anywhere, we stayed home that night. We loaded up on junk food at Target and then headed home for the night.


We watched movies and stayed up to watch the ball drop in Times Square on tv. Mia was the only one who didn't last. The other two were wired until after 12. I can't imagine why....maybe it was the pound of sugar they each had??

 

This last week was really needed for me as a mom. It was restful, but also filled with a ton of family time. The kind that bonds us together stronger. The kind that helps us through the busier times where we don't get to spend tons of time together. Asher and Bella were inseperable...I mean, don't get me wrong, they had their moments of getting on eachothers nerves and needed seperation {aka time outs alone} but seeing them play so well together was good for my mama heart. Especially since this has been a big year of change for Asher as he gets older. That they can still play silly games and laugh uncontrollably together makes me one happy mama.

It's always a little sad to see the holidays end. The tree comes down and the eating whatever you want extravangaza comes to an end. But by the time it's all over, I'm ready for it to be. I feel like we fully enjoyed our time off and now we are ready for routine to kick back in.

Also there is so much to look forward to for this year. I can feel it in my spirit that this will be a year to remember for us. 

There is a ton I want to share...my heart is sort of overflowing with so much.
Which for me, means this year is already starting differently than it ended.
More on that to come.
I hope you all enjoyed your Holidays!

Much Love
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