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It’s the little things: Breakfast with my Husband

A handwritten note of appreciation, flowers just because, a big ‘ol tight hug after a long day- it’s the little things in life that mean the most to me. Often times “life” gets in the way of spending time with the ones we loved most; or rather, we allow work or our hobbies to take the place of where we really want to be.

As a newlywed, I’m beginning to appreciate life more and trying not to take anything for granted. My husband is truly my better half. I would be lost without him. He’s opened up a world of new things and endless possibilities. We dated for ten years before getting hitched on 12.13.14, I’m excited for the chapter that is unfolding.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved coffee. I remember my grandma letting me taste my first sip of coffee at the age of five. It’s become a daily habit for me that I’ve somewhat become addicted to. I’m not sure if it’s the taste or the fact that it makes me smile every time I think of my grandma (or my welita, as I like to call her).

I’ve recently acquired a taste for tea, Matcha tea to be exact. I have become somewhat of frequent customer at Craftiques Garden Tea Lounge and have become intrigued with the art of making Matcha tea. I took a class where I learned about the Japanese Tea ceremonies and the different ways of making Matcha tea. I’m still trying to master the art before writing a blog post about it. It takes practice, and I try as often as I can to make it a part of my morning routine. In this photo, one (one who knows about Matcha) would say there isn’t enough froth.

Matcha Tea

My husband wasn’t fond of the tea, perhaps when I master the art he’ll have a different opinion. For now, I’ll continue making breakfast for him. He seems to enjoy my cooking. This dish was inspired by one of my favorite restaurants Tost Bistro and Lounge — they have an amazing brunch menu and serve delectable brussel sprouts!

Rarely do my husband and I get the opportunity to have breakfast with one another because of our completely opposite schedules. So when we do get the chance, I try to go all out. Here we have poached eggs over a bed of brussel sprouts, bacon, and Blue cheese with a side of champagne sweet tomatoes!

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All that’s missing is the perfect hollandaise sauce! If you have an awesome recipe you’d like to share,  please send over!

 

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Wide Open Spaces

A fighter, a leader, an inspiration, and a teacher— those are words I would best describe my mentor. I don’t have to tell you who it is, because you already know. It’s that person who gives a child-like perspective on things. The person who takes you back to a moment in time when life was novel, beautiful, and the word “WHY” reveled with significance. In school, children are asked what they want to be when they grow up. Nobody laughs, nobody cracks jokes, and nobody tells these young souls that their dreams are impossible. So, why do some of us think our dreams are insurmountable?

When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a beauty queen. My dad took me took me to an event I signed up for to learn about pageantry, and it was awe-inspiring. Beautiful little girls were told that they could walk a stage in fashionable clothing and display their talents in front of a live audience if they were able to raise money for a charitable cause. My spirit beamed with excitement. My mother said it would be difficult to raise funds and made mention of my crooked teeth.

In high school, I wanted to be a part of the softball team. My dad went out and bought me a bat, a glove, a ball, cleats, and anything he could think of to help me succeed. The girls on the softball team were an amazing group of women I so badly wanted to be a part of, except I wore makeup and jewelry, and they didn’t. I quit the team.

My mom never said I wouldn’t be able to raise money, or that I was ugly. (Quite the contrary, she tells me I’m beautiful every chance she gets.) The girls on the softball team never said I couldn’t wear makeup and jewelry on the softball field, nor did they say I couldn’t be on the team. Why did I interpret these things so negatively? I guess I felt like people, inadvertently, took something away from me. Pieces of me. Little pieces over time, so small I didn’t even notice. People wanting me to be something I wasn’t, and I made myself into something I thought they wanted me to be. One day you start to realize, you’re not you anymore. I lost myself a long time ago.

I became a chameleon, a Karma Chameleon, if you will – a woman without conviction. A woman without conviction until I entered the kindergarten classroom again; no, not the literal four walls – the metaphorical haven. I took lessons from my favorite book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. I adhered to the instructions on the fundamental rules of life.

The last ten years of my life, I decided I wasn’t going to let anyone take a thing away from me; in fact, I was going to take from them. Let me explain it simply, pieces of me. All the pieces I admired about a person and all the pieces the things that defined them, I took them and made them my own. I was a social sponge who hung on every spoken word and learned what it is I liked about that tidbit and chose whether or not I wanted to incorporate it in my life.

Except one day, I realized someone took something away from me that I wasn’t sure if I would ever get back—my confidence and my self-worth. I took myself back in time to the moment that I was most confident and spoke up for myself. I was sitting in my car, waiting in line for a gas pump. I waited for what seemed like an eternity before a woman pulled right in front of me to pump gas. I’m not sure what happened next, some might say it’s the Southsider in me, while others might say it was instinct; but, I got out of my car and exclaimed, “Hey, I’ve been waiting in line, why did you cut in front of me. That’s not right and you need to leave.” And she did.

I remember that feeling like it was yesterday. Because it was yesterday, when I found the self-confidence to speak up for myself that I took away from me years ago. I went to Home Depot yesterday to get a tool for my husband. A gentleman asked if he could help me (like they always do at Home Depot). He didn’t comprehend what I was asking for, so he asked, “What do you use it for?” I explained, and he gave me exactly what I needed and walked away. I was speechless. I was trying to figure out how he knew what we needed even though I asked for something entirely different.

After confirming with my husband over the phone that the gentleman’s suggestion was better than what he was looking for, I went to thank the gentleman. He was assisting someone else and I patiently waited. Another man stepped in front of me. I smiled at him to acknowledge the fact that I was waiting for assistance from the same gentleman. When the gentleman was free, the man proceeded to ask the gentleman’s assistance. Without hesitation, “I said excuse me, I was waiting to speak to him, you saw me waiting and you need to wait your turn.” I turned to the gentleman and thanked him and walked away.

It was a transcending moment in my life. Much like the time my mentor told me, “Now you’re thinking like a marketer.” I could see clearly now. The clouds parted and I could hear the angels sing. It’s a joyful feeling and I want everyone in the world to experience what it feels like to speak up for yourself, as well as, the feeling to speak up for someone else who is unable. Be their voice, be their advocate—because someone is taking a piece of you, good or bad. Your words (or lack thereof) mean something to someone.

Who am I? I am a beautiful child of God made to share my story. A storyteller fueled by inspiration. My favorite color is purple. My favorite flower is a white rose. My favorite sports team is the Dallas Cowboys. My favorite Spur is Danny Green. My favorite eggs are poached. My favorite number is 13. My favorite season is fall. My favorite band is the Dixie Chicks. I belong to many teams, my favorite of which has led me to raise more than $35K in support of curing cancer. I am the best me, I know how to be. I am relentlessly useful, unapologetically human, and I lead worthy life.

My favorite thing in the world to do is to laugh.

If you’re not laughing at yourself enough, you’re not living. Live life to it’s fullest and don’t sleep in bed all day because you can. Sleeping is for the dead and baby, you’re alive! When you stand before God at the end of the tunnel, be able to say, “I used EVERYTHING you gave me.” Our talents are wasted the day we chose not to see the value in them. Take yourself back in time, and remember what it is you wanted to be.

I wanted to help people. I am the best storyteller I can be in hopes of inspiring billions of people. And, in my spare time, I’m going to find the cure for Alzheimer’s disease. What are you going to do?

If I could share one piece of advice, it would be this: Love Yourself, Girl, or Nobody Will

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” ~ Mark Twain

[Dixie Chicks: Wide Open Spaces, January 15, 1998]

Photo credit: Sarah Brooke Photography

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valentine day swap

so, i have joined Melissa’s Valentine Swap and these are the questions i have been asked to answer:

1. Handmade gifts? Love or hate?
i love handmade gifts! gifts given from the heart that have lots of thought put into them are the best!

2. Gift cards? Love or tacky?
impartial.

3. What type of theater do you frequent (like Cinemark, etc)?
regal cinema.

4. Coffee? addict, like, can’t stand? Starbucks, home, other?
love, love coffee! starbucks is great as any other…

5. Do you read? Books you’ve been wanting to read? Type of books you like?
love books! wish i had more time to read them. love self-help, audio is best! 🙂 ebay & amazon are my friends for great deals!

6. 3 Favorite running accessories:
bondi bands, drifit socks are always nice, anything sparkly 🙂

7. Kids? Ages?
no kids

8. Pets?
2 dogs, german shepherd named justice (right) and rescue dog named rusty (left)
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9. 3 things you can’t leave home without:
blackberry, laptop & purse

10. 3 Favorite magazines. Current subscription?
runner’s world, women’s health, people…currently subscribed to all

11. When you are in a running slump, what motivates you?
self-talk

12. Complete the sentence, “My favorite thing about running/exercise is __________”
not feeling guilty for the good eats!

13. Shoe size/t shirt size?
shoe size 7, shirt S or M

14. 3 Favorite Valentine’s candies?
anything chocolate

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blogworld=love

thank you all so much for your kind words and well wishes. i left work early yesterday and spent the day in bed and taking your advice! you really are too kind, it’s like someone took all the nice people in the world and put them in the blogworld! with the exception of those “anonymous” people who write mean comments…looks like we need a super hero to zap them! i am willing to take one for the team, put on my cape and zap them!
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while i am feeling better today i am not 100%. i decided to call in and get some more rest. i need that energy to go to the spurs game tonight! 🙂
i won box seats to the spurs game awhile back and i invited my mom, she is super excited and i can’t let her down. i also need my energy for my run tomorrow, yup, i’m going to try it! 6 miles isn’t much and lord knows i need the practice! wish me luck!

and one last plug in before i’m off for the weekend, ENTER HERE

for some awesome prizes benefiting the leukemia & lymphoma society! thanks to all who have already donated, it is MUCH appreciated!

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here we go!

i’m overwhelmed with joy today! i had such a great response to the drawing yesterday; it was awesome hearing the notification on my phone almost all day! i have the best bloggy friends!

remember it’s not too late to enter! 🙂 ENTER HERE

also, i won shut up and run’s giveaway!

she asked the following questions:

What is your health-related New Year’s resolution this year?
How do you plan to stick to your resolution this year?
What are the best tips you’ve heard to start off right this year, maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle?

and my answers were:
♥ my resolution this year was not lose X amount of weight. it was to loose weight and be healthy by working out daily and eating right. this year i have been cooking most of my breakfast, lunch and dinners!
♥ to keep track i am keeping a calendar with my goals for the month and highlighting them once they’ve been accomplished. i will also be running at least one race each month for the rest of the year. i have list and am going to cross them off as completed!
♥ to start of the year, i joined John Bingham’s 100 day challenge. Its 100 days of at least 30 minutes of movement. After i reach 100 days, I am going to do 100 more and then 156 more to complete a whole year! 356 days sounds like so much, but by breaking it up–it sounds so easy!

so, let me brief you in on the last couple of days! i have lost 3 lbs since the beginning of the year (7 if you want to count holiday weight). i have been cooking most of my meals with the exception of the weekends…i’ve got to find a way around that!

calendar is still up and running but had to count myself out of john bingham’s challenge. after 13 days of working out/training it was becoming a little much. very disappointing at first, but i’m still proud of what i accomplished. on the 14th i had every intention on going to zumba, but a friend invited me to the spurs game. hmmm, workout or spurs game?? that was an easy one for me, i rewarded myself for doing so good by going to the spurs game!

saturday, i hopped back on the train and did 9.5 miles! in 2 hours flat!

sunday, my honey & i went to church (another resolution of mine) & watched football all day. then toward the end of the night felt like i was coming down w/something, so needless to say, no working out then or on monday because i was extremely ill and did not get out of bed all day! that is not how i intended to spend my day off! 🙁

tuesday, it was back to the grind here at work. although i wasn’t 100% i still came & skipped another workout. 🙁
i did however start school yesterday! very excited about that! i took a year off of court reporting school and i felt it was time to go back and get it done.

i will be carrying a heavy load this semester with school, prepping for a church retreat and training/fundraising for a half marathon but i am ready to take on this challenge!

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that workout totally counts!

i am so overwhelmed! so much to do and so little time! i’ve made an executive decision and will be posting a “thank you letter update” every friday rather than every day. i may even write all the letters on friday, not sure yet. the problem is, i have 3 letters written and ready to go– i just haven’t made time to mail them. i need be more prepared next week! i will buy stationary and pre-stamp envelopes and will be ready to go next week! who knows, maybe then you’ll get a daily update 🙂

speaking of thank yous, i have yet to finish the book ‘365 thank yous.’ the book i am basing this idea off of.:( i stayed late again at work and did not pack my gym clothes. i decided i would eat, workout (i intended to do my dallas cowboy cheerleader bootcamp video since i would not be going to the gym), wash 5 loads of laundry since i am way overdo and relax & read! the only thing i did was eat and slept! 🙁 i was so angry when i woke up at midnight and realized that i had ruined my 100 day challenge. i thought, if only it were 11:30 i would totally get up and workout! then i thought, NO! this can’t be right, i’ve worked so hard these last 10 days and i will not accept this. today i made a delivery to 2 different buildings and it took me exactly 30 minutes! the rules say ‘at least 30 minutes of movement’ and that my friends, was 30 minutes of movement! please help me justify this! and an added bonus is, my pedometer read 18,605 steps! that totally counts! right? right!
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day 11 of 100: 30 minute walk!

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i met a dixie chick!

highlight of my day: meeting emily robison from the dixie chicks!
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dixie chicks are my absolute favorite and i was thrilled to be meeting her!
she was on our jury panel and sadly not selected to be a part of our jury…i’m just glad i got a picture with her! she was so down to earth and humble; very sweet! one chick down, two more to go! 🙂

day 10 of 100: 30 minutes on crossramp. i stayed late after work because of this jury trial and i was extremly exhausted. it was 31 degrees out and i did not want to go to the gym! my great friend kelley gave me motivation and thankfully i made it to the gym!

needless to say, kelley gets thank you letter no. 10!

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i will learn it if it kills me

well, i am doing no. 1 on my list to try in 2011, which is learning how to drive a stick shift. my boyfriend’s sister taught me yesterday and my boyfriend taught me again today. it’s not as hard as i thought it was, but it sure is not easy. i thought i would be able to drive home from houston but i didn’t get very far. oh well, i have all year and i am determined to learn! this will not get put on the back burner!

thank you letter no. 2: my second letter was made out to my boyfriend. we had a difficult time towards the end of the year and he didn’t give up on me or us. i have been very blessed with the most wonderful man a girl could ask for. he is always there for me when i need him, helps me see the bigger picture and would do anything on god’s green earth for me. i am so grateful that we have found each other, kept each other & keep falling more and more in love w/each other! we had a wonderful weekend in houston together and hope to try new things this year! it’s going to be a great one!

day 2 of 100: 4 mile bike ride
boy was that tough! i have not rode my bike in almost a year! i’ve cycled on a stationary bike and took a couple of spin classes…but this is definitely something i do not enjoy! but def new in 2011 so, hopefully by the end of the year i will learn to love it!Photobucket

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happy new year!


what a year 2010 has been! it got so busy i did not have time to blog anymore…but i am back and want to try a few new things this year! i ordered a book by john kralik, “365 thank yous.” it is an inspiring story about a man who was almost down to nothing and his life was completely changed by simply writing a thank you letter every day for the year of 2008. by the time he was finished he had lost weight, run a marathon, raised money for charities, turned his law firm around, reconnected with old friends and relatives, gotten back together with his girlfriend, and realized his dream of becoming a writer with his first book, 365 THANK YOUS.i haven’t read the book yet, but am already inspired to write my first and i’ll be sharing you parts of these letters.

thank you letter no. 1: my first letter was written to sarah brannon. she is the one who introduced me to the book so it was only appropriate that i write this letter to her. i met her through team in training (my running group who raises money for the leukemia & lymphoma society); she is an honored hero & cancer survivor! she has been an inspiration to me and it gave me great pleasure to write my first letter to her!

another daily feature will by posts from my 100 day challenge. john bingham is challenging anyone who is up for it to commit to “moving intentionally” for a minimum of 30 minutes per day for 100 days.

day 1 of 100: ran 5k (41:00)
one of my goals this year is to become faster, so the next few weeks i will be running plenty of 5ks in addition to my regular training as i will be running the houston half marathon january 30th!

lastly, i’ve compiled a list of all the things i want to do new in 2011:
♥ learn to drive a stick shift (my bf’s sister started teaching me today)
♥ give more
♥ be punctual
♥ a triathlon (sprint or olympic)
♥ try new things
♥ okay, so my list is small but only because i can’t think of all the things
i wanted to do. but i will update this list soon 🙂 most people also give up things and its hard for them to stick w/it. this year, i’ve decided to give up things 1 month at a time. this month i am giving up sodas. next month i will give up…something & sodas. so, hopefully by the end of the year, i will have given up 12 bad habits. wish me luck!

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good news, great news, other news

wow! i can’t believe 2 weeks have passed me by! i guess that means i’m having fun! (or been really busy) whatever the case, i’ve got news to share!

did you see me on

Courtney’s blog?

i was this week’s featured runner of the week! (2 weeks ago :))

courtney is also hosting a totally awesome drawing

HERE!

the best part is it’s benefiting the leukemia & lymphoma society! yeah!

what you missed last week:
♥ honored hero ice cream social movie night! (hosted by yours truly)
♥ an attempt at a 3 mile run (shins still not doing good) 🙁
♥ wine tasting benefiting the leukemia & lymphoma society
♥ weekend of a waste: sick, sick, sick oh and hurt–but on a positive note, my boyfriend did take care of me and we got to spend all weekend in bed!

what you missed this week:
♥ not much! 🙂
♥ sports doc on monday
♥ new pair of running shoes
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♥ MY FIRST RUN SINCE LABOR DAY! YEAH! it wasn’t a great run, but i was just happy to run! need to do more conditioning and speedwork. i need to do a lot of catching up in order to train for my upcoming marathons!

tonight….GREY’S ANATOMY!! i can’t wait, can you?