a marathon update.

In less than a week I will be running the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, DC. This will be my first, and probably only, Marathon. I have always wanted to accomplish this, so when the opportunity came up to run with a team and raise money for Diabetes, this was perfect. It has been so much more difficult than I imagined...so much more difficult than training of the half. The time and planning it takes to accomplish the training is just crazy. I have struggled to fit it in with a full-time job and other life things. It is hard to set-aside 3 hours in just one day to run...plus over 4 hours of running on other days.
I also managed to injure myself in my last long run. I ran 18 miles a week and a half ago and hurt my right foot during that run. I didn't do anything to it, like twist it, it just hurt and I could barely walk the next day. I took a week off, did the doctor/X-ray thing to make sure there wasn't a stress fracture and that turned out all clear. But when I attempted to run 5 miles yesterday the pain came back with a vengeance, so something is wrong with it and I am just hoping it will miraculously feel great on race day and that all of this healing time off will not affect the run. I am very doubtful at this point about my ability to run that distance, but I am going to give it a go.
On a more positive note, I have nearly reached my fundraising goal, which is awesome. So we will see how it goes. Click here to see my personal page and hear about why I am running.


A perfect Fall Saturday

If you were to ask me what my idea of a perfect Fall Saturday was, I would tell you that it would have to include; apple picking, a pumpkin patch, a drive through the mountains with the windows down, 73 degree temperatures and a picnic by a river with some fun friends. You would be hard pressed to come up with a better line-up of fall activities than that. This is what this past Saturday consisted of and it was amazing.

First stop: Apple Picking

We discovered really yummy green apples on the last row. Not sure if we were supposed to pick those, but they were better than the other ones, so we did.

We are really excited about our full bags of apples. Not at all sure what we are going to do with them all, but it was fun times!

The plan was to leave the apple orchard and find a place to hike in the mountains. On the way to do that we saw a sign for Bert's Pumpkin Patch and I went so crazy I almost drove us off of the road....whoops. A friend had just told me about this place the week before and then there we were...accidentally there, so we had to stop. The place was a mad house. Tons of people apparently knew it was there and went there on purpose. Either way, it was amazing. The whole place smelled like the most amazing pumpkin pie you have ever smelled. They had ginormous pumpkins like these...

This is Amy in the wheelbarrow with our pumpkin. We both spotted one at the same time that we liked, so he is the one that came home with us.

The pumpkins we chose.

This is a difficult rule to follow....I mean the second you see a pumpkin as big a Lazy boy chair all you want to do is sit on it. Ever the rule breakers we are.

Who knew there were so many uses for gourds? I certainly did not!
If you have yet to take a day to enjoy the fall and do some activities like the ones above you should. It is, after all, the best time of year!

Fall Party- Pumpkin Carving!

The beginning stages of a beautiful Clemson pumpkin. Not sure what kind of goofy look I have going on here.

Benji hard at work....he is displaying his "tooth." Apparently you should put a tooth in your lid so it is easy to place back on correctly. Not sure a tooth as large as his is necessary, but he was proud of it.

The whole gang and our finished works of fall art. Super fun!


super cute.

My sister finally did it...she got her nose pierced! I keep saying she got a "nose ring" and she keeps correcting me...."It's not a nose ring" she says. Either way....she looks super cute with it!

She keeps telling me I need to get one and I have at least 2 reasons why that is not a good idea....
A) People will finally have something to distinguish us by and I will never hear the end of it if I copy her and do the same. I am still hearing about my haircut and how that has hindered people's ability to tell us apart.
2) I argue that it is cute on her, but would not look cute on me. She disagrees, but I hold strongly to this opinion.

Eyebrow ring?.....NEVER!


This is not okay...

Seriously? It is still 80 degrees outside, Halloween hasn't happened, we are over a month away from Thanksgiving, the time has yet to change, the leaves are still mostly green and I have yet to enjoy fall fully....it is NOT time for stocking stuffers and Frosty yet!


the most bizare thing I have ever seen.

I think that I have probably said a statement like, "The most bizarre thing I have ever seen" on more than one occasion, but this time it really is true. I was sitting outside of church in a meeting and I was listening to what the other person was saying, when all of a sudden something caught my eye. I turned my head to see a person running down the sidewalk (this is some 40-50 yards away) in a black, spandex body suit that looked exactly like this....

It covered their entire body....head and all. From what I could tell, it looked like they wouldn't even be able to see or breathe. They had on tennis shoes and they were running....like out for a jog kind of running. Although for all I know they could also have been a bank robber running from the police and that actually would have made much more sense. They stopped in front of the church, bent over trying to breathe I suppose and then kept running. My coworker and I were in awe....I watched until they were out of sight and it took me a while to regain focus.

I have no idea what that could have been about. There have to be much better ways to increase sweat production if that was the goal. Any thoughts?


pumpkin spice creamer

One of the perks of this time of year is the plethora of yummy seasonal items one can buy and enjoy. Amongst my favorite, is this guy...

I have been stalking the creamer section of Kroger for weeks wondering when it was going to make its appearance and wondering why they were making me wait so long. I got impatient, so last night I looked up the Coffee Mate website to see when it was coming out. They have this feature where you can look up individual flavors, put in your zip code and find the one closest to you! As it turns out, Target was the only place carrying it, so today I stopped by to purchase one. It will be a happy moment when the first taste of that hits my mouth.

Just another reason why Fall is favorite!


in contempt of court.

I have had my share of traffic violations in my short driving experience. About a month and a half ago I was on my way to work to unlock doors for Bible studies and I got in this really long line of traffic in front of a school. It was the week school started and it was about 7:45am so traffic was horrendous. There are 2 lanes that go straight and one that turns right. I needed to turn right, so I got into the far right lane and started heading up, but apparently I got into that lane too early and unfortunately for me there was a police man sitting there who kindly pulled me over to inform me of my mistake. I will argue this intersection is confusing because the turn lane is very long, but apparently there are certain points where you can only turn into shopping centers and you cannot go straight. There is old paint on the ground that use to indicate this and there use to be yellow pylons that wouldn't even allow you to go straight, but those are all gone now. Anyway, this seems to be a common mistake and since I got pulled I have watched tons of cars do the exact same thing I did. After sitting in the parking lot for 30 minutes, I was finally issued my ticket and set free. The damage was $116.50 and/or a court date to plead my case.

I knew the court date was the first week of October. Up until the night before the court date my plan was to go to the court hearing and plead my case and then I decided I was too busy so I would just pay it. I got home, sat down on the couch with all the info and the ticket said you could pay up until midnight the day before your case. My case was Thursday, October 6th, so I sat down to pay the ticket and the website said that paying the ticket online was already closed. Now this irritated me since it was 10pm....a whole 2 hours before online payment was supposed to end and this meant I would have to spend my valuable time in court the next morning and I didn't want to do that. I just happened to look at my calendar and that is when I realized that TODAY (Wednesday) was OCTOBER 6th....NOT TOMORROW! I had missed my court date! I had failed to pay my ticket and I had just totally missed my court date because I'm a moron. I wasn't busy...I wasn't dead...I was sitting at Panera that morning enjoying a cinnamon crunch bagel and coffee, while all the while my name was being called in a Snellville courtroom and I was being held in contempt of court! I might have almost had a heart attack. The document said that failure to appear in court may result in the suspension of your license and/or a warrant being issued for your arrest! YIKES! My roommates tried to focus my panicked attention on the "and/or" part of that phrase, but I was unconvinced. A WARRANT! Seriously! I work for a church and there is a warrant out for my arrest simply because I am an idiot, didn't pay attention to detail and all day long thought it was Oct. 5th. Whoops! A very big whoops!
So, the next morning I drove slowly, careful to obey all traffic laws, pulled up at the Snellville City Hall the moment it opened and 15 minutes and nearly $200 dollars later walked out, not in handcuffs and not having to hail a cab. Apparently it is expensive to be held in contempt. My blunder cost my an extra $70. The court clerk said I could get a new court date, explain to the judge what happened and maybe he would wave the extra fees. What would I say?....."Umm, judge, well, what had happened was....I wasn't here because I was eating a bagel." I hope the city of Snellville buys themselves something nice with my cash.


The Wests

When I look back over the course of my life there are people who I have met who just stand out over the rest and have had a significant impact on my life. The Wests are two of those people. I met them in May of 2006. They were on my M-fuge Nashville camp staff. I met them just 6 days before my dad died. Carrie and I had been paired up as prayer partners for the summer and I remember how much time she spent praying with me and for me...for my family...just sitting with me and listening. I might not have made it through that summer if it wasn't for them. I have seen them from time-to-time over the years since then, but last year, when I moved to Houston, they happened to live 10 minutes from where I did off of the same exit. It was a huge blessing to be so near them again, if for only 8 months. They ended up moving last November, right before I did, and are now in Missouri.
They both came into town yesterday for the Catalyst conference, so I got to spend a few hours just eating with them and catching up on life. They truly are amazing people, who love the Lord and who have loved me well over the years I have known them. I am thankful for their presence in my life.


first signs of fall...

Well Fall is here. Yay! I can't tell you how excited this makes me. I have this smile that rises up from inside when I walk out into the 60 degree temperatures and I can't make it stop. I LOVE IT! A couple of fall activities/first signs of fall have happened already and there are many more to come, I am sure.
This is one of them...

...Cali and I found this on our walk the other day and were very excited about it.

I have also eaten pumpkin spice pancakes (recipe found here), worn a hoodie, drank a few pumpkin spice latte and been to a Clemson football game (well tried to go to a game, couldn't get in....this will be a separate post story).

Tonight is also a very special occasion. My roommate and I are having a "We Love Fall Party" at our house. The evening will be full of fall food, fall treats and fall activities, including but not limited to; pumpkin carving. We are excited about it. Should be fun times.....with many more fun fall times to come!