Well friends, it is almost time. In a few short hours I will be on a plane to Fort Lauderdale, followed by a 2 hour road trip across the state of Florida to sunny Marco Island! I'm such a happy girl right now :) Not sure if I will be able to update the blog while I'm gone, so if not, see you all next week! Hope everyone has a fantastic week and memorial day weekend!
Thought I would join back in the fun at Miscellany Mondays with Carissa at lowercase letters. She is super sweet and has the cutest blog so if you haven't already, you should check it out!
1. I can't stop thinking about the finale to Lost last night. I'm not sure how I feel about it. They definitely provided closure, but they left so many loose ends untied. I'm pretty sure I understand it, I just don't know if I think it was a cop out, or if I'm ok with it because that is what they had planned all along. I could write a lot more about this, but I know that not everyone is a lost junkie, so I will leave it at this.
2. Taking my dog to the non-dog park (i.e. park where dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash) is an interesting experience. First of all, he is a spaz, so keeping him under control requires undivided attention. But people are so friendly. Little kids will come hang out with you because they like your dog, and random people will have conversations with you. It's kind of fun. Even though he is a total spaz.
3. I had such a fun weekend. Fun things included spending time with friends on Friday night, taking Moose to the (non-dog) park Saturday morning, spending Saturday afternoon relaxing with D, graduation party, Saturday evening with friends (my favortie thing - sitting outside talking, and its still warm even after the sun goes down), church, helping Dererk with the end of the year soccer banquet, picnic with my friend Kaelyn, and watching the Lost series finale with friends on Sunday evening. It s such a full and fun weekend.
5. My parents are in New Jersey right now for a marching band reunion for my dad. He went to high school in New Jersey and they invited everyone who was every in marching band there back for a huge reunion. My mom says they are having a great time and she is loving it there and I need to go. Add that to the list of places I would like visit.
6. I just noticed that I skipped number 4. I have a masters degree in engineering and can't count to 5. Awesome.
Earlier this week I read an article about a senior in high school who is coming to Kentucky next year to be a part of the basketball team. He was born with a spinal deformity, and is not even 4 feet tall. But next year he will be a manager for Kentucky's men's basketball program. The article can be found here and is a really great read. As I was reading through the story of this boy's life, there were two sentences that really stuck out to me:
"That's when it dawned on Lipson that he wouldn't get to live an average life. He was being called to do much, much more."
These 2 sentences rocked my world. They have stuck with me all week and have really changed the way I have been thinking about things. You see, I have this picture in my mind of what I want my life to look like. And if you were to open up my head and be able to see the way I picture things turning out, it looks pretty much like your average life, with some Jesus thrown in there (volunteering at church, Bible study, leading young life, etc.) But when I read a story like this about someone who doesn't have the option to have an average life, and see what he has done and the impact he has had in his 18 years of life, I begin to realize that what I envision as being the perfect life is maybe not so much.
I wouldn't wish for a spinal deformity, but at the same time I wonder what it would take to keep me from living the average life that I feel like I live sometimes. I feel like God has really been teaching me recently that things that the world tells us are horrible, often times end up being the biggest blessings. I have lived a charmed life. The worst thing that has happened to me is when my high school boyfriend of 4 years and I broke up in college. Seriously, that's it. You can go ahead and laugh at me, but it's true. I've practically skated through life and I know how blessed I am. But at the same time, I feel like because of this lack of adversity, I haven't had many chances to live a life that is much, much more than average.
So I'm not really sure how to end this. I am definitely not asking for bad things to happen in my life. But I am asking that God would somehow give me courage/boldness/desire/strength/not-sure-what-exactly to live a life that is much, much more than average. I just have NO IDEA what that looks like.
So Kristin over at Windy Poplars has these Kindred Connection Parties on Wednesdays, and this week the theme is vacations. And, since I am going on vacation NEXT WEEK!!! I thought I would join in.
1. What is the most recent vacation you've been on?
In February I went to Colorado to visit my sister and go skiing.
2. What is the destination of the vacation of your dreams?
This is tough because there are so many vacations I would love to go on. I'm thinking I would really love to go to Australia though.
3. Do you have a favorite place you vacation to regularly?
Well my parents have a time share in Colorado, and I've managed to work it out so I have been able to join them the past 4 years. Not always for the whole week but at least for a few days of skiing, so that is probably my most frequent vacation spot.
4. Vacation preference: beach, city, or mountains?
Can I say the beach and the mountains? I guess right now I would have to say the beach because I have been to the mountains more recently than the beach. But really it is probably whichever I haven't been to in the longest, I need both in my life.
5. Have you ever vacationed with a group of people (other than your family)? If so: How did you coordinate it, and would you do it again?
I took several spring break trips with friends in college. I wasn't really the one that coordinated those, however. Recently we have done a couple of trips down to Florida, and a couple of of our good friends who live down there, Brent and Karin and Jeff and Stephanie, have joined us. These have been so much fun and I would love it if it became an annual tradition. It's usually just for a long weekend, but it is wonderful. Unfortunately both couples are going to be busy when we are down there next week so I don't think we'll get to see them this time around :(
Our last trip down there was in October for Brent and Karin's wedding. Here is me and Stephanie:
Brent and Karin
And here are the boys. Our friend Wes joined us for this trip and added to the fun. I would love it if he always joined us on our trips down there (he lives up in Kentucky with us). You can read more about that adventure here, here and here.
So there's my answers - now head on over to Windy Poplars and join in the fun!
It's my brand new baby nephew Oliver! Isn't he precious! I love how he is already so cute and chubby. Good thing he was already a scheduled c-section, because at 9 lbs 3 oz he would have been awful big to try to push out. Here's the proud daddy:
It was another busy week. It seems like the past month has just flown by. I've been all over the place, and my car is racking up the miles. Today is my day off though, and I feel like it is much needed. The only problem is trying to figure out what to do with the free time, because I feel like I could easily fill a week with stuff that needs to get done. So I decided to start with the highest priority - the blog! Just thought I would share a few photos of what's going on around here:
Since its our anniversary week, we decided to break out the fancy china that we got as wedding gifts for dinner on Tuesday:
The comical part is that we were having breakfast for dinner that night. So we got the fancy china out and ate scrambled eggs, pancakes and sausage on it. Oh well. Here is our fancy dinner:
We even drank our milk out of the teacups. I really like our china but we never have an occasion to use it. We need to work on that.
Also, I was so excited this week because my peonies are blooming this week!
These are my favorite! I've already cut a few and put them in vases around the house. They are so pretty. Also, the azaleas are blooming, and I've almost got my first strawberries :)
I can't wait to eat strawberries out of the garden! That's about all that is ready in the garden though. Unfortunately it looks like I'm going to lose another blueberry plant. I don't know why they are struggling so much. I still have one bush that is going strong.
I think that's all I got for right now. Hope everyone enjoys the weekend!
I thought I would join Carissa's Miscellany Monday over at lowercase letters today, beause 1 - I like her and her blog alot, and 2 - random thoughts are all I got, so it works out well. So here's what's going on in my head today:
1. I didn't get a chance to post about how wonderful my mom is on Mother's day yesterday. Luckily, it's because I was spending the weekend with her. So I want to take this chance to say how awesome my mom is and how thankful I am for her. Seriously, I am so blessed to have such a loving, caring, selfless, amazing mom. I am so glad I got to go up to Columbus and spend some time with her. I wish we got to do it more often. Mom, thanks so much for everything. You are so wonderful and I love you a ton!
2. On Thursday Derek and I will be married for 4 years! Crazy. Unfortunately, I will be in Cincinnati at meetings all day, and he runs a men's basketball league at church in the evening. So I will get to wake up next to him and fall asleep next to him, but that will be about all we see of each other.
3. But it's ok, because 2 weeks from tomorrow we leave for vacation! We decided tha rather than do gifts or whatever else for the anniversary, vacation would be our celebration. I know I've probably said this 4 other times, but this will be our first vacation, just the 2 of us (other than a long weekend to Gatlinburg for our 1 year anniversary) since our honeymoon. I am soooo excited.
4. I will have a new nephew 1 week from today! Because little Henry was a c-seciton, our nephew Oliver will be too - so we know when to expect him. After work on Monday we will head up to northern kentucky to meet the newest addition to the family.
5. Another baby Warnick will be added to the family in the beginning of December! My other brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first baby. Kayla - I hope you don't mind me announcing it on the blog, but I am super excited for you guys and it's been killing me not to be able to share!
Ok, so I think that's all I got for right now. So many fun and exciting things to look forward to. Head on over to Carissa's blog and check out Miscelany Monday. She is wonderful and I love reading her blog.
Right now I am reading the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis and today I came across something that really caught my attention and made me think. If you haven't heard of the book, it is basically a collection of letters from an older devil to his nephew, giving him advice on how to win a man over to satan. It is such a thought provoking book because everything is from the devil's point of view, and it really points out ways that satan tries to keep us from following after Christ.
So in today's chapter, the older devil is advising the younger to convince the man that he is the owner of his time. He points out how ridiculous it is that a human could even consider time something that he owns because "man can neither make nor retain one moment of time; it all comes to him by pure gift". But once we start thinking that it is ours, then we use it for things that we want, and then when we feel that someone is wasting our time we become angry with them.
Next comes the really crazy thought. (This is still from the book, I didn't come up with this.) Imagine if Jesus came to us and asked us to serve Him for a day. We would be nervous, because we couldn't say no, but what would he ask of us? And then imagine that all He asked was that we be patient with someone. In that context we would be relieved that that was all he asked of us. But because we consider our time our own, we become irritated when we feel like someone else is wasting our time and we are not patient with them.
I think if we viewed our time not as ours but as God's, for us to serve Him in whatever way possible, we would have completely different attitudes. Every moment of our lives would have meaning because whatever we are doing is for God.
At the end of the chapter, he takes the idea of owning time and applies it to all areas of our lives. I love this quote: "And all the time the joke is that the word 'Mine' in its fully possessive sense cannot be uttered by a human being about anything. In the long run either Our Father [satan because this is the devil speaking] or the Enemy [God] will say 'Mine' of each thing that exists, and specially of each man. They will find out in the end, never fear, to whom their time, their souls, and their bodies really belong..."
This sums it up perfectly. Everything we do with our time, with our money, our possessions, our bodies and our lives is either claimed by satan or by God. Objects that are completely neutral such as a we can allow to either draw us closer to or separate us further from God. This book does an excellent job of pointing out how satan tries to use things in our lives to keep us from God, while the Holy Spirit will use the same things to try to bring us closer to Him. But I think if we can keep this view, that we do not truly possess anything, but that everything we do pushes us one way or the other, then we can find meaning in even the smallest most seemingly insignificant areas of our lives. Satan would love for us to be so distracted by the things of this world that we think are neutral or inconsequential. I hope to work on paying attention to the details of life and not claim anything as my own, but to see it as either God's or satans, and determine who I want it to be claimed for.
So in my last post I told you how we were going to play bigger and better last night. Well we did and it was fun. My group ended up with a bike. Its a little old and the tires are flat, but I'm hoping we can get it fixed up and find someone to give it away to who would like a bike but can't afford one. It looks to be about the right size for a middle schooler so let me know if you know of anyone in need of one.
One group got a couch and decided to take it all over the place and take pictures on it. They stopped at our house on the way back to where we were meeting and put the couch in the front yard and took a picture. I thought it was funny so I decided to share it:
Man, work is in full force right now, making my weeks very busy! I try not to talk about my job too much on here, I think it's in your best interest, but I couldn't help but share that tomorrow I will be out counting traffic! That's right, on occasion my job will have me out on the side of the road counting cars for hours. It's not glamorous, but at least I get to be outside, and tomorrow it should be sunny and in the mid 80's so I'm actually looking forward to it. The only bad thing about traffic counting is that it is usually a bit of a drive to get there and I have to start at 7 am, meaning I'll probably have to wake up around 5:45 tomorrow. Not fun. Also, it doesn't end til 6 in the evening, so I won't get home til late either. (Don't worry, I don't count traffic all day, just 2 hours in the morning and 2 in the evening.) And, tomorrow we are playing bigger and better for young life, which starts at 6:45. So basically that;s my entire day. I just hope I have time to eat dinner.
*For those of you who don't know about bigger and better, basically we send kids out in groups of 4 or so with a quarter and they go to houses and trade it for something bigger or better. Then they take the next thing and try to get something bigger and better than that, and it continues. Whoever returns with the biggest and best thing wins. It's lots of fun!*
Thursday is looking to be a busy day as well with work all day, then a going away dinner for my friend Ashley who is moving to Louisville, then Bible Study. Then work Friday. So it's only Tuesday, but I feel like I'm going to blink and it will be Friday. All this to say, the blog may get a bit neglected this week. But maybe not, I may surprise you.
And I know you are wondering if I will get to wear my safety vest while I'm counting traffic. And while I am probably supposed to, I feel like it just makes me a more obvious target on the side of the road, so I probably won't. Sorry to disappoint friends :)
I did it! I ran my first half marathon. And I have to say it was a much more enjoyable experience than I had anticipated. I'm not really sure what I expected, but I don't think I expected to enjoy it as much as I did. I was smiling most of the time. Even though I had to wake up at 4:15 in the morning and it was thunderstorming at the beginning of the race and I was soaked through before I even finished my first mile. So here is how it all went down (and I have pictures and everything):
Saturday Derek and I went over to our friend JB's house and picked him up and headed up to Northern Kentucky. JB ran the full marathon. Our first stop was to pick up our friend Bryan who was running the half with me. After we picked up Bryan we headed to the expo where we picked up our race packets, and got lots of free goodies. We got a technical t-shirt, a bag and a poster, along with other goodies from vendors.
P&G was a big sponsor and they had this huge toilet as part of a charmin toilet paper display. Of course the boys couldn't resist the photo op! And below is the countdown to the beginning of the race!
After the expo we headed to Fazoli's to carbo load before the big race. It was delicious! Then we went back to Derek's parents house for a relaxing evening and to get to bed early. We had to wake up at 4:15 Sunday morning to get to the race on time!
Sunday morning we picked up Bryan and met our friend Eric, who was also running the full marathon at a gas station close by. We followed Eric into Covington where he would leave his car, and then Derek and his dad would drop all of us off at the starting line. The weather was crazy Sunday morning. It was thundering and lightning and pouring down rain. Eric parked his car under an overpass. Since it was dry we decided to warm up there and stretch out. No sense in being out in the rain longer than we needed to. Here we all are around 5:45.
So around 6-ish Derek and his dad dropped us off. I split off from the boys to use the restroom before the race started and made 2 new friends waiting in line! The race started at 6:30. It was dark and stormy but I felt ready to run.
The race itself was really good. I ran pretty slow because I didn't want to die at the end. Also, there was a pretty big hill from miles 5.5 to 8 ish and I wanted to make sure I had enough energy to make it up the hill. I was surprised to see Derek and his dad cheering us on somewhere between miles 3 and 4 I think.
The first 5 miles felt really good. The hill wasn't as bad as I had feared, but still was a pretty good hill. When I got to the top I felt pretty good and decided to pick up the pace. That lasted for maybe 5 minutes. Then my legs decided they were done. Luckily it was mostly downhill from there. I got to see Derek again at mile 10 which was fun.
At this point it wasn't too bad because at least I was running downhill, but it was pretty much all I could do to put one leg in front of the other and finish. I wasn't out of breath at all towards the end, my legs were just super tired. But I am happy to say that I finished and I ran the whole way. Not fast - it was an 11:53 pace - but I ran it. I only walked for a few steps at a time as I got water at the water stations. But I did it! I finished it in 2 hours, 35 minutes and 37 seconds. I was shooting for 2:30 so I feel pretty good about it. I tried to pick up the pace at the end but as I said, my legs just didn't have it in them. I felt like I gave it all I had so I am pretty pleased. Here I am getting ready to cross the finish line. I am behind the guy in blue.
I felt like this race was mostly just to show myself that I could do it. Now that I know that I can do it I would love to do another one and really push myself and try to improve my time. It was such a fun race to run. And I really enjoyed running in the rain. It kept me cool so I didn't sweat as much and have to worry about getting too dehydrated. I hope to keep in shape and do shorter runs - like 3-6 miles - but work on getting faster. I feel like while I was training because I kept increasing my mileage so quickly I never really had the opportunity to get faster. So since I began running at a 11-12 minute pace, I never really got faster than that. Hopefully I can run some 5 and 10ks and work on getting down into the 10 minute mile pace.
Anyways, after the race was pretty cool too. You get a medal and then go through this tunnel where they give you gatorade and water and get your timing chip back. Then there is this whole area full of free food. It was awesome. There were oranges, bananas, apples, bagels, donuts, chips/cheetos, etc., ho-hos, granola bars... It was so cool. So I loaded up on some snacks - even though I didn't really feel like eating then, I knew I would want them later, and they were free! Then I found Derek and we headed back to the car where a dry shirt awaited me.
After the race Bryan, JB, Eric and his wife Rachel all headed back to Derek's parents house for some lunch. It was so fun to have friends to run the race with, even though we all finished at different times. We all celebrated and were so happy that we had finished. Bryan ran the half in 2:04. JB finished the full in 3:46 and Eric finished it in 4:45. I am so impressed with those guys. They are so amazing. Also, my friend Shannon ran the half. We saw her at the expo but I didn't get to see her at the race unfortunately. All in all it was a great experience and I would encourage everyone to do it at some time in their lives.