Thursday, August 27, 2009

Denver half-marathon

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
~ John Bingham, running speaker and writer

With the inspiration of co-workers, I have decided to run this year's Denver half-marathon. I have about 7 weeks to train. I am so excited to be back in the racing mentality. This summer, I made a mental list of things I wanted to accomplish before my 30th birthday, and a half-marathon was one to check off. Sunday marks the beginning of my long runs. 6 miles... here I come!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Through the eyes of a 6-year-old

This week marked the beginning of the school year for teachers. On the first day back, our Head Master read this excerpt, as a thought starter for the year. Because I connect with, and love children and dogs so much, I had to post it. It is a reminder of what is really important in life:

A Dog's Purpose
(from a 6-year-old)

Being a veterinarian I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the
family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's
family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting
the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any
difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's
death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are
shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, 'I know why.'

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next
stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, 'People are born so that they can learn how to live a good
life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?'

The Six-year-old continued, 'Well, dogs already know how to do
that, so they don't have to stay as long.'

So live like a dog:

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
Take naps. Stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass..
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle
them gently.


Monday, August 17, 2009

A new season, a new class

This week marks the end of my Craft of Writing and Contemporary Math classes. Moving on next week to The Effective Classroom and Children's and Adolescent Lit. In the syllabus for the lit class, it mentions that I will be reading and evaluating over 60 children's books! This is gonna be fun. I've already added a bookshelf to my blog, and now it will be stocked full of reviews and recommendations for great books to read to kids. One of my favorites last year was Bad Dog, Marley! adapted from Marley & Me, written by John Grogan. Stay tuned, and checkout my shelf located on the right side of this post section titled, "Good Reads".

Big Giveaway for Blog Design Lovers!

There's this really cool gal @ The Design Girl Studio and she's got some FABULOUS giveaways this week. Check it out at:

Here are the features of the giveaway:

  • Standard Blog Makeover
  • Camera Strap from Mason Jar Holdings
  • Bin from Sewing Mamma
  • Recipe Box from The Monogram Chick
  • Felt Pancakes from Lisajhoney
You have until Sunday, August 23rd to enter.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's the little things...

So, I was at the book store today just browsing, and came across a book called The Geography of Bliss. The author, Eric Weiner, writes about happiness; what it means to be happy, and how different people define it. The title is what really reeled me in. The cover was enticing too. Isn't it amazing how just the cover and title of a book can get you to look into it further? I read the summary and BAM, I was hooked. I'm such a sucker! I'm that way with so many things. Today I want to list the little things that make me happy. Cheesy? Yes. I don't care!
The following are just a few of those little things:
  • A sunset in Colorado on a warm summer night
  • Dinner on the patio
  • Candlelight
  • Songs about falling in love
  • A glass of good wine
  • The smell of freshly cut grass
  • Sleeping in
  • Curling up with a good book
  • Cuddling with my husband and pups
  • Family
  • Good friends
  • Conversation that makes me think in ways I hadn't before
  • Smooth, dark chocolate
  • Saturday nights
  • Laughing till it hurts
  • Running till it hurts
  • Pictures of people doing ordinary things
  • A baby's smile
"Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means you've decided to look beyond the imperfections." ~ Anonymous

Friday, August 7, 2009

Summer Discoveries

Summer is winding down (it goes by so fast!) and school starts in two weeks. I'm excited to see the new little faces of 1st grade. This summer has been productive and rejuvenating! Here are some of my fabulous summer activities, leading to surprising discoveries:

Guitar lessons ~ Mike and I took guitar lessons together in June and by the end of the class, we were able to play lots of fun chords and simple songs like Eleanor Rigby. Ha! We're going to be rock stars.

Going back to school ~ It's about time! Actually, this summer was the perfect time to go back. I am taking classes to start my educational goal of finally earning my teaching license. The writing class, Craft of Writing, inspired me to start this blog! I have rediscovered my love of writing, and have tapped into creative thinking, that has been hibernating for way too long.

Landscaping ~ It was an exhausting 8 weeks, but well worth the labor! We designed and landscaped our back yard. It is now blooming with beautiful flowers and trees, and the pups LOVE running around on their new grass. No more dirty paws!

Hosting parties ~ Now that we have a house, we can host parties! I love having people over to enjoy great food, drinks, music, and company. We had an awesome 4th of July gathering and next will be a 'girls night in' wine and tapas party. I love bringing people together to celebrate the little things in life.

Morning coffee ~ I've never been a coffee drinker, but I started to drink a cup or two on the weekends. Now, it has become a ritual. It's a great way to start the day, along with reading a good book on the patio.

Cooking ~ When I'm not doing homework, I like to find new recipes to cook for dinner or dessert. I tend to gravitate towards baking lately, but the other night I found a delicious Carne Asada recipe from Yum! Cooking is fun and relaxing.

Ahhh, the long, warm days of summer! What an awesome couple months it has been.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Thought for today...

"Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions, then feel
the answer. Learn to trust your heart." ~ Anonymous

This month I've been thinking a lot about the virtue of patience. I am not a patient person. If I'm hungry, I want to eat NOW. If my hair is too short, I want it to grow out immediately. If I'm not proficient in something, I want to learn it instantly.
I am slowly learning that some things are well worth waiting, and working for. I want to start enjoying the journey, and be present in today, rather than looking for what will happen tomorrow.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wedding Pictures ~ July 14, 2007 ~