Category Archives: Running

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getting healthy

Took this photo today during a walk with my mom. There’s no more snow on the courthouse lawn! I can’t even begin to tell you how happy it makes me to see grass again. The morning temps are still in the 20’s and 30’s, but Mom and I are getting outside. It feels great to move after being stuck inside all winter. I’m not one who loves to go to the gym. I’d much rather walk or run in the great outdoors. Sadly, winter ends up being pretty light on healthy activities for me. But I’m very happy to be out walking around our little town again. Even just a few walks this week have done a world of difference. I can already feel my legs getting stronger again.

Jake had mentioned us doing the River Bank Run 10K this year. But then he had some health issues come up over the past couple months and that idea was kind of pushed to the back burner. I didn’t forget about it. In fact, I have the training run schedule up on the bulletin board. But I think I’ve pretty much decided not to worry about it this year. I’m going to run, but the desire to run a 10K isn’t there right now. I’d love to run it next year, though. I might try our town’s Summerfest 5K this year. I ran that once before, but didn’t actually run the entire time. Had to walk several times. I would love to be able to run the entire thing. I think that will be my goal before considering the 10K.

Now that Spring has arrived, I’m in the mood for some good healthy eating. We’ve been eating out too much in recent weeks. It’s all winter’s fault. ;) My Nutribullet needs to get some more use with lots of green smoothies. And the grill needs to be fired up for some chicken and salmon and veggies. Favorite thing cooked on the grill or over a campfire for that matter … VEGGIE PACKS! We make them all the time. Here’s how:


– Slice up potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, whatever kinds of veggies you like. Cut them into small chunks or cubes so they will cook faster.

– Tear off two large pieces of heavy duty tin foil. Enough to fill with 2-3 cups worth of veggies. Don’t make the pack too large. The veggies don’t always cook evenly. Better to do a couple medium size packs than a jumbo one.

– Arrange the veggies in the center of the tin foil and fold the edges up a little, so when you pour the oil on them it doesn’t run off the edge.

– Pour some olive oil over them. We never measure it out. Just enough so it keeps the veggies from sticking to the tin foil.

– Sprinkle with salt, pepper, other seasonings you like.

– Lay the second piece of tin foil over the top and roll the edges together to make a little packet. Make sure all the edges are sealed up so it doesn’t leak out into the grill and so all the steam stays inside to cook the veggies.

– I would say cook them for about 20-30 minutes, but that depends on the heat of the grill and how many veggies you put in. Probably less cook time for less veggies. Common sense. We usually open it up and peek to see if it’s done and just put it back if it needs more time.

– Carefully open the packet when they’re done so you don’t burn yourself on the steam. Pour into a bowl or eat ‘em right out of the tin foil. We do that when camping!

– Voila! A healthy side dish and it’s SO delicious!

Something we tried last summer was sweet potatoes with COCONUT OIL instead of the olive oil. That was SOOOO GOOD!

My mouth is watering now! ;)


You’re here! I’m so excited! On February 26, 2005, I started this blog, and for the next two weeks, I will be looking back at the past TEN YEARS of blogging!

Ten years has gone by in the blink of an eye. At least, it seems so at times. I’ve been browsing back through old posts and, while the style of my photos (lots of borders and filters in the early days) has changed, the core of the posts has not. It started with a few posts about my kids and that’s pretty much the same today. I wrote about things we did, places we traveled, movies I loved, following my love of photography into a business, family, friends, parties, scrapbooking, memories, happy times, sad times, publishing my novel. So much of our life.

Ten years is a really long time.

So, for the next TEN DAYS, I will be looking back, sharing old photos and favorite posts, and there will be GIVEAWAYS!!!

GIVEAWAY INFO: There are four ways to enter through the giveaway box below and each will get you five entries in the drawing.

• The first option is the only one you HAVE to do in order to be entered. I’ll ask one question in every day’s giveaway. You just have to enter your name and email address, give a brief response to the question, and you’re in the drawing.

If you want more chances to win, you can …
• Join my mailing list (if you already have, enter your email address so I can verify)
• Tweet about the giveaway and copy/paste the link from Twitter
• SHARE about the giveaway and the BLOG-IVERSARY on your own blog, Facebook*, Pinterest, etc. and link to that as well.

All giveaways will end on my actual BLOG-IVERSARY, next Thursday, February 26th, so the giveaways will all be OPEN until then.
The winners will be announced in a blog post on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27th!

* Note: If you share on a private Facebook account and we aren’t “friends”, make sure you change the audience of that one post to “public” so I can see it. ;)


I’ve got a paperback copy of my first young adult novel ready to sign. The Truth About Drew was published last May.
It’s a sweet, uplifting, heart-warming story full of friendship and family with a journey to faith and a mystery surrounding a boy and his notebook.
Enter below. Tell a friend! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have any questions at all about the giveaway, feel free to ask.


project life® August layouts

I went back in time to 2013 this month, still working on my journaling for the last half of the year. And all I have to do is look at the 2013 document on my desktop, where I typed up a quick daily synopsis each night before I went to sleep. I’ve said this before (more than once!), but that file is such a lifesaver for me. I can look at the pictures and tell you the basics of what was going on, but writing it out daily along with any special things that I wanted to remember is the only way my albums are as accurate as they are.

On to the layouts:

A Road Warrior’s Wife • May 11, 2013

The journaling for this layout was taken from my post of the same name from May 2013 just after Jake ran the Fifth Third River Bank Run 25K. I didn’t include all of the text, but if you want to read the whole post, you can find it HERE. It was such a crazy, stressful, exciting, rush of a weekend. More so for Jake than us, but we were pretty nervous right along with him. I thought this event deserved its own layout. Since I document things weekly, I just broke this week into two layouts with this one being for the last two days of the week – the race and then Mothers Day with Jake’s family.

Click image to view larger version

Jake’s DC Trip • May 20-24, 2013
Jake took a lot of great pictures on his trip to D.C. with our brother-in-law Jeff. I only included three in this layout. You can see a few more HERE.

It was also right around this time that I started to think seriously about self-publishing my book. I put emails out to a couple of places for more information and this was the week I was contacted by West Bow Press, which is a part of Thomas Nelson publishing. They help you self-publish … for a fee. A fee I did not have. And I knew I was more than capable of doing the majority of things they would have done for me (cover design, editing, formatting) on my own. So that’s what I decided to do.

Click image to view larger version

Girls Days • July 1-7, 2013
Most of this week’s layout focuses on our annual Girls Days trip with Aunt Pat and Tonya. My aunt and uncle purchased a house near Lake Erie and this was our first time visiting there. We stayed at the house for a few days and it was a great time, as always. The highlight for me was taking the ferry to Kelley’s Island. I had not been back there since the summer of ’92, when my former fiancé and I visited the church camp we attended for a week every summer during high school. It was so nice going back after all these years. We drove around the island and out past the camp. It looks so lovely and I miss it. Very special memories there. I was blessed to be part of the most wonderful church Youth Group. We were all like family and it will forever be one of the most important times in my life.

Click image to view larger version

Products used:
I used the Seafoam Core Kit and Design A pocket pages for all of these layouts. The Seafoam kit has since been retired (boohoo!), but it looks like they are still available on Amazon HERE. I think Seafoam will always be one of my favorite kits. I also purchased the digital version of this kit, too, so I can always print my own cards any time I want.


monday’s list

The weekend flew by around here. I blinked and it was over.

• On Friday, Chloe went on an after school outing with her school to a place with lots of games and bounce houses and stuff. The kids that are responsible with doing their homework and turning in their assignments on time earn an invitation to this special night. Kind of a fun incentive for the kids. Her best friend got to go this time, too, so she had a very fun night.

• On my drive to pick her up, there was the most beautiful sunset. I was in awe of God’s creation.

• Jake, Chloe and I have been running together lately. I was not able to keep up with my plan to train for the River Bank Run this year. The winter was long and cold, most days too cold to run outside. So, I’m back at it and I can already feel the strength returning in my legs. Feels good.

• I received my book proof in the mail on Monday and spent all week working on editing it. One thing that was really helpful, especially with the sections of dialogue, was reading it aloud. It was also very special to be able to read it with Chloe. There are a few mature elements in the story that are more suited for teens and up, but I was sensitive about those things when I read them with her and it started some good conversations. We finished reading the book together on Saturday evening. She cried along with me when I got to the final chapters. Such a tender little heart she has. I just can’t seem to read the end without the tears falling. ;)

• Spent Sunday afternoon at the farm celebrating my Dad’s birthday. Had some pizza and played Sequence, our new favorite. I brought along my book to show my Dad and brothers.

• Working on some Project Life® goodness. Will share some pages later this week.

• Started an email subscription on Friday for my NEWSLETTER. So, if you want to be the first to know when my book goes live and some behind-the-scenes of how the book came to be, the process of putting it together, etc., SUBSCRIBE BELOW! I’m excited to share it with you all. Pictures of the book coming tomorrow. :)

Have a wonderful week!

monday’s list

• It was a very quiet and uneventful weekend around here. Didn’t take many pictures. And I liked it that way.

• Jake took a day off on Friday and we had lunch together. That was so nice. Our dates lately have been few and far between. We let the busyness of life take over sometimes. Definitely need to make our dates higher on the priority list!

• Family game night Friday. Played a game that Jake bought – Forbidden Island.

• Enjoyed some movies – Frozen (twice) and Saving Mr. Banks. Love Disney.

• Got some new music this weekend that is touching my heart (will share about this later this week).

• I adore everything that Lindsay Letters makes. I have lovely visions of her canvases above my piano in our future home (no news on that front yet – still lots to do around here before we list our house for sale). But for now, I picked up this cute mug (above) – Live Creatively! – and I love it.

• Editing some photos to be printed for my Project Life album. Will be sharing pages early next week. More weekly layouts for this year’s album. A digital layout. And another layout for the Germany album focusing on a visit to a nearby town with a romantic legend.

• Spent several hours scanning more of Grandma’s negatives. Every time I scan, I find new moments to cherish.

Easter 1975. We sure did love our new baby cousin, Tonya (me – left, Traci – right), back when it was just us three girls and none of the boys were born yet. And I guess I thought it would be funny to sit in Tonya’s little baby seat (me and Uncle Tom – Tonya’s dad).

• I think I’ve settled on a cover design for my book. Now I just need to get the supplies I need and photograph it. Then I can start working on the layout in Photoshop. Praying I can recreate what I’m imagining in my head.

• Jake and Dwight’s latest Plus Sized Models podcast is up today. They invited their running friend, Adele, to share her experiences with running as therapy for her PTSD from serving in Iraq. Have a LISTEN HERE!

• A little over a week left of March. How did that happen? And a week and a half until Spring Break. Yes!

• This week … we’ve got a high school orientation for Zach this week. Yikes! I can’t even believe that is happening.

monday’s list

• Zach’s class made up their ice skating field trip on Thursday that was cancelled because of one of the many snow days we’ve had around here. He had a good time, but texted me after a couple hours and said “Ice skating is too hard.” I’m proud of him for at least trying.

• Winter storm warnings on Friday. The kids already had no school for a teacher records day, but all the schools had a snow day. Just before Jake got home from work, I heard a loud crash on the kitchen roof and looked out the upstairs window to see that a big branch had fallen, one that had been dangling above after the ice storms in December. No damage done. Not a huge branch. Just scared me because it was really loud and I was in the kitchen at the time.

• Lots of movies and TV watching and games played over the weekend.

• Ventured out into the snow on Sunday for church. Very chilly. Lots of blowing and drifting. Took it slow and got there and back safely.

• There was a snow day for the kids today and they’ve already cancelled school for tomorrow as well. Craziness!

• Started my day off with half an hour on the elliptical. Time to really start training for the River Bank Run. Only a few months until the big race! Yeah!

monday’s list

• We are home from Florida and already wishing we were back beside the pool in the warm sun. Everything is covered in inches upon inches of snow that fell while we were away.

• This week for me will be all about Christmas shopping and Chloe’s parties for both school and gymnastics. Tomorrow, I will set out with list in hand and try to get some things crossed off.

• Winter break begins at the end of this week for the kids (and me!). Kind of nice to have a vacation and then only a week of school before two weeks off.

• Lots of family time coming up! Our immediate family as well as extended family Christmases. Looking forward to that.

• Running in the snow will be happening, too. I’ve never done it before, but it’s going to be a part of our training for the River Bank Run. Oh joy!

• Feeling thankful for all the new friends who have stopped by here via Becky’s blog. I can’t say thank you enough.

2014 is going to be a fun year. :)

monday’s list | 40 edition

MY BIRTHDAY was on Saturday and I turned the BIG 4-0!

• Drove to Silver Lake for the day with Jake and the kids.
• Rode Mac Wood’s Dune Rides. A few years ago, Jen and I did that while camping at Silver Lake and I knew someday I’d go back with my family. They loved it!
• Visited the Little Sable Lighthouse and waded in Lake Michigan for a bit. I love Michigan!
• Had lunch at a little chicken shack. Pulled pork sandwich was a yummy birthday lunch. Mmmmm!
• Stopped for ice cream at the Whippy Dip! before heading home.
• Took an evening bike ride. I got to ride my new bike for the first time and it was awesome. I haven’t had my own bicycle since I was in high school. I love it. And it’s so purty!
• Jumped in the pool to end our day!
• Birthday lunch at my parents’ house on Sunday! Burgers and dogs on the grill. Cake and ice cream.
• Yard games! Ladder ball (Rick and I won! Yeah!) and badminton. It was hot in the sun, so Zach was “misting” us with the hose (more like spraying us directly when we asked him not to).
• Chloe taught me and Tim “The Cup Song” from Pitch Perfect. That was fun. And loud when we all did it at the same time.
• Went for a run when we got home. Chloe and I only ran about a 1/2 mile, though. My legs were very weak from our bike ride the night before. It has been way too hot for running the past week (heat index in the 100’s), so this week is looking very good for that. Comfy 70’s and 80’s. Low humidity.

It was a wonderful birthday weekend. I had no sadness or anxieties over turning 40. It’s just a number. (Although, today Zach said that when he and Chloe tell me I’m old, I can no longer say “Hey! I’m not old. I’m still in my 30’s.” Silly kid … but true.)

I think 40 will be great. Life is good. God is good. I feel very blessed.

monday’s list

• A busy weekend to start our summer vacation.
• Lunch with Grandma on Friday (Zach chose KFC!) to celebrate the last day of school! (man, that kid needs a haircut!)
• Jake ran a 5K on Saturday.
• Gymnastics team practice for Chloe.
• Stayed up late a couple nights working on my book.
• Graduation Open House for our nephew Josh.

Love this little gem (on the right) from Fall 1994 (I believe). It was displayed in Josh’s scrapbook at the open house today. Yikes! Gotta love perms. :P

• Best part was getting to see all the little people and hang out with family for a few hours.

• Jake, Brenda (his sis) and I are starting our training for the Summerfest tonight. We are going to kick butt in August!

monday’s list


• Went to our niece and nephew’s graduation on Friday night. We got to have Scarlett sit with us in the bleachers while Heather and baby Violet sat down on the floor (for any diaper emergencies!). Not surprisingly, it was like a sauna in the gymnasium with all those people. You can see Scarlett in the photo (above left) with her sweaty forehead. She was so cute picking on Zach, playing with his hair and tickling him. hehe. At one point, she kissed his hand. She loves him and says he is her Prince Charming. So cute.
• So proud of Josh and Lexy on their graduation!

• Jake had one final hurrah with his Road Warrior team this weekend. Dinner and bowling. Jake has been asked to keep posting on his Road Warrior blog and they want him to help promote the team for next year’s River Bank Run, so that’s pretty exciting for him. He has loved being a part of it!

• I decided to try out a fun mint color on our back porch door yesterday evening. I like the colors together, but it’s not what I envisioned in my mind. I will be picking up some paint samples soon until I find just the right color.

• Took some pictures of flowers that are blooming in my (weed filled) flower bed. I’m surprised the weeds haven’t taken over since I haven’t been out there to clean them up at all this year because of the stupid swarms of mosquitoes. ugh!

• Chloe starts gymnastics team practices this week. She’s excited!

• It’s the final week of school. I’m excited! haha!

Happy Monday, everyone!

AJAXed with AWP