Sunday, July 31, 2011

Running to Slow Down

There are weeks I barely see the inside of my house. I get so busy with work, with other projects- that it seems like the only places I visit with any regularity are my garage and my bed.


And the kitchen. Let's just be honest about that one!


Two weeks out of every month things slow down a bit. I have time to walk from room to room and visualize my house just a few more months down the road, when things feel more finalized.


I have time to sit on the couch and watch every Lifetime movie made in the past 5 years.


I can leave my phone in the other room, on silent of all things, and not worry I'm missing something important.


Ah, yes. These two weeks are bliss. I'm working furiously to "fix" the other two weeks of the month; to make them a bit more balanced- going with that whole "life is a bike ride" post from yesterday.


But today? I'm looking forward to two weeks of slooooow down.


In fact, the moments I probably "slow down" the most- are the times I'm going the fastest. The times I'm running- literally.


Yesterday I wrote about bike riding- how balance and looking forward, never back, are key components.


Today, I'm writing about running. Breeze in your face, shoes kicking up dirt, sweat pouring down your face.


I mean, it is the hottest summer EVER.


But while my legs are moving fast, my breathing is rapid, my heart is racing- my mind slows down. I focus on the basic essentials. Breath in, breath out. Make it one more half mile. And another after that. Take a sip of water. Unclench your fist.


And while I'm running, I don't think about my to-do today list. In fact, I don't think in any linear fashion. It's more a series of snapshots, the to-do someday list.


The river becomes a camping trip.


The kids at the splash park become my family someday.


Toto's Africa playing on my headset becomes my next big trip.


Running puts the hustle and bustle of life into perspective and makes the big things, the really important things, pop into my head like a polaroid.


Breath in, breath out. Run fast to slow down.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pedaling

As I gear up for my first sprint triathlon at the end of August (and let's be honest, quite possibly my last!) I can't help but think about how the exercises- the swimming, the biking, the running- apply to so much more than just the pool or the trails.


Biking, as it turns out, is my biggest challenge. It may have something to do with the 1982 vintage wheels I'm sporting (hey, who doesn't love a good throwback bike?!) - but still, it's proven to be the toughest part of training for me. There are moments when I'm biking that I think, no more. Just pull over, turn around, call it a day.


To ride a bike, you have to have a certain skill set. Some things come naturally; pedaling, for instance. We all know how to do that. But biking also requires balance. It demands patience; you have to pace yourself or you burn out pretty quickly. Hazards are in your path- rocks, sticks, pets, people. You constantly have to keep your eyes on the road in front of you. What's behind you is gone; only the miles in front of you matter.


As I become more comfortable biking, I'm noticing things changing. Physical things, sure. My legs are taking on a new, more lean shape. And running long distances has never been easier.


And mentally- a few things are changing, too. Living life day to day is like riding a bike. Balance is key; work, friends, family, "me" time. Being patient with others, and myself- sometimes you need a break, and other times you need to convince yourself to keep pedaling. Hazards pop up along the path every day; stresses, worries. But keeping your eyes always forward, always looking to what's now, what's here, what's next- that's key. What's behind me is gone.


But that's the best part about riding a bike for me; even in my moments I want to quit, or I think to myself it's too hard, I'm too tired, I'm too thirsty, the hazards are too dangerous.


The best part is when you fall off of a bike, you get back up. You find balance and patience and you challenge yourself. And you hit a stick or two along the way- but you keep pedaling.


Pedal On.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Shaping Up

I hope everyone is having a restful Sunday! I certainly am. A few errands, a nice rainfall outside- a much, much, MUCH needed rainfall. I'm sitting here at my kitchen table typing this, remembering not too long ago- February?- when I sat at this same table blogging about my Bailey's snow ice cream after a long morning of shoveling my driveway. That seems like ages ago! But before we know it... the heat will be a memory and we'll be shoveling snow again.

Nothing like a good snow reminder to make you live in the present!

Speaking of the present, lately it feels like my world revolves around exercise... work... and sleep. I have officially signed up for the Claremore F3 Sprint Triathlon (gulp) at the end of August! My mornings now consist of early runs and bike rides... and soon, my afternoons will consist of swimming. If I'm the LAST one to cross the finish line... so be it. At this rate, I will be happy to cross the finish line at all!

I have to admit, I'm sort of loving having just a few singular goals in life at the moment. I think we all go through different seasons- really busy, really slow, really social, really quiet. I'm appreciating this season of getting into shape- physically, yes. But also continuing to work on my spiritual life, my house. Hanging out with my kitten, spending low-key evenings with friends or alone. Shaping up in a lot of different areas of life.

I guess I'm just feeling especially content lately. After a year of ups and downs and lots of change- I'm appreciative of this season of comfort and ease and confidence I'm feeling in life.

"Getting healthy" happens in so many more ways than just running and biking.

On that note, I'll leave you with a video of my little fluff, Maizy, with her new mat! (Please excuse my baby voice...)


video

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's Saturday!

Happy Saturday! Hope everyone had a great week. Mine was... exceptionally busy! I think, as a rule, when it's 100+ degrees outside... weeks shouldn't be busy. But, alas, mine was. I was at work for early auction broadcasts all week; kept up my training for the triathlon in the bazillion degree heat; and finally saw Harry Potter! Which exceeded ALL my expectations.

I just may have to celebrate the end of this week with some Prosecco pops! Seriously... how good (and refreshing!) does this look?! Popsicles... with Prosecco poured on top. Sign me up. Thank you for the idea, Better Homes & Gardens.

This week will be less busy- at least, I hope! We will wrap up auction broadcasts at Auction Network. Tulsa+ is on Thursday! (Tulsans, please come... you won't regret it! Some amazing acts on tap, plus food & alcohol. Seriously?!) And then it's just one more week until the much-anticipated San Diego trip!

Enjoy your weekend... stay cool with a Prosecco Pop or two. I know I will!

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Quick Update

Another week has come and gone! Lately, I'm loving each passing day. I think summer- even record-breaking 100+ degree summer days- make me happy and positive. But then again, I think fall does that, too. And a good Spring thunderstorm. And hot chocolate + Bailey's in the winter.

Well, ok. Every season has it's perks. But summer! There's something so refreshing about sprinklers running, the River trails full of joggers and bikers.

Speaking of jogging and biking- now for my updates of the week!

The first being- I will attempt my first triathlon at the end of August. Yes, I know, insane. I will swim, bike & run. I'm nervous, but I feel like it will prepare me really well for the Tulsa Run (15k) at the end of October.

Next update: I had a great visit from my mom this past weekend! We painted my guest room (pics to come) and took care of my ant problem from last week once and for all.

I also lined up my schedule for the BlogHer conference in just 2.5 weeks! We've turned it into a girls trip, so my mom & sister are coming to. I can't WAIT for beach time, dinner & drinks, and of course the conference!

Whew... that's it for me, for now! Just a quick pop-in. Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Day In The Life

Owning a home is no joke.


The lawn needs to be mowed.


Bugs need to be killed.


Bills need to be paid.


Ok, so I don't mow my own lawn- and I'm forever indebted to the person who does.


I do kill my own bugs!


The fact is, owning a home- no, being an adult- is no joke.


There are seriously times I can't believe how quickly we transition from 8th graders passing notes in class to 16 year olds with a drivers license to college freshman. And then from college, we're launched into the "real world" with jobs and responsibilities and we buy our first car. And suddenly, we're 27. With a mortgage. And a busy career. And even more bills. And still that pesky car payment.


And ants!! So many of them, in the kitchen!


Being an adult, and an adult who owns a home, is a lot of work.


There are nights I'd be lying if I said I didn't wish I had a man around the house who could spray for bugs and hammer things with perfect precision on the walls (because all guys inately have that skill, yes?) and just hang out on the couch with me to watch Pretty Little Liars.


But in the morning, I'll get up and go for a run. I'll take care of my kitten and review my recent stragetic advances in the war against the ants. I'll make a cup of coffee and get in that car I continue to make payments on- but only for a year more. I'll shut the garage of my house- yes, my very own house- and as I pull out of the driveway, as I do every morning, I'll glance back at the house and think to myself... girl, you've got it so good.


Someday there will be someone to take care of the ant problem. But today, I'm perfectly capable of dealing with it on my own.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, folks!

I, for one, am SO glad it's Friday. Weeks after a long holiday weekend are always long- and this one was no different. But thinking back, I've had some pretty amazing family/friend time the past week. I saw my whole family last weekend for the 4th. I caught up with an old friend at the lake (Hi, Gates!)... I chatted with a girlfriend long distance (Hi, Brittany!)... I made dinner for my neighbor/favorite last night (Hi, Leah!) and tonight is girls night. (Hi, Heather!)

So, seriously, I can't complain.

That's why I'm celebrating with a Friday favorites post!

Let's start with house decor:


I'm obsessed with this renovated bar cart, found over on Hannah's blog. I desperately want a bar cart, and I want one just like this. Sigh. Too cute.

Moving onto books:
I am reading the first book in a new trilogy, called "A Discovery of Witches." Let's just say vampires + werewolves + mystery + romance = can't put it down.

Now onto a new favorite blog, Global Table Adventure. I always love discovering cool Oklahoma bloggers... and this gal is combining her love of travel with her love of food. Love.

Speaking of Oklahoma... what are you adding? I'm helping coordinate this fantastic event at the end of July where you can hear, see, taste and experience all of the "pluses" happening around Tulsa. Please come, you won't regret it.

Whew. So there you go! My favorites on a Friday.

Hope everyone has an amazing weekend!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Warm House to Housewarming

We're inching closer to the ONE year anniversary of my house (can.not.believe.it) and the house is feeling more "finished" by the month! (I know you long-time homeowners are laughing at me; it's never finished, is it?!)


Everytime my mom visits, she.. encourages?... me to make that next big purchase. A rug. New bathroom... everything. She even tackles projects while I'm at work.


And when my dad comes... big things happen. Heavy things get hung on the walls. Cords get tucked away. Garages get cleaned and organized.



Yes, I'm a lucky girl. (Thanks, mom & dad!)


My goal right now is to throw a housewarming/house anniversary party this October. I'm already envisionig my giant willow tree out back with it's drooping fall leaves... my beautiful bush in front a fiery red. The weather cool, maybe a small fire pit in back?


An October housewarming. As opposed to my current July warm house. (Another 100+ day around here!)


But BEFORE any of this... there's one room that needs finishing: the guest room/office.


I've known what I wanted a long time: a room that will stir my creative juices, that reflects my taste and style but also my love of reading and travel. I knew a map needed to find it's way to my wall.Enter: Judy Kaufmann. You can't see very well- but this map is colorful, it's modern (two requirements) and it has BIRDS perched on each continent. (You faithful followers know what that means.)


I've loved Judy Kaufmann's style long before this map came into play. Her use of nature- trees and birds. And... lucky girl, she lives in Spain. I've seen her Barcelona bungalow featured on several blogs I love. And imagine my surprise when I found this map, fell in love, and learned... it was designed by Judy Kaufmann. Meant to be.



Every office needs a good desk. This one at World Market has definitely caught my attention- not to mention it's wallet-friendly.


So these two purchases will be made in the coming weeks... and soon after, the invitations for my first ever house warming party will hit people's mail (in)boxes.


In October, my house will feel "finished." November... there are no guarantees what "additions" will come!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Battling The Blaze

I'm back!


Well, I finally have Internet again, that is. It's been a nice break- coming home from work with nothing to do but read... or, let's be real, watch Housewives. But I'm glad to be back in the land of technology- and most importantly, blogging!


I feel like I'm walking into a fire right now. (And no, it's not because it's 100+ degrees outside!) I'm battling blazes and extinguishing anxiety left and right. Partly because of what I blogged about last week- the whole "where I was a year ago" thing. And partly because after this month, a whole new chapter begins. A chapter where life a year ago was on the upswing instead of a downturn. When I say "last July"... it will mean this past month. A wonderful month, instead of the hurts and dissapointments of July of 2010. It will mean a whole year has cycled through. A year of growth and healing.


So what does the next year hold? What will July 2012 look like? For the first time in a long time, I'm so excited to wait and see and let change, and life, surprise me.


But I already know my dreams are bigger. My expectations are higher. My heart is more open than ever. So no matter what, it's going to be ok. No, better than ok.


The fires are dying, the anxiety is blowing away- smoke in the wind.


Now, if only we could do something about this Oklahoma heat!
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