Tuesday, October 23, 2012

a parade.

A few Sundays ago The Hill had its annual Columbus Day Parade where several local business ride around in trucks, floats and old, classic cars throwing out candy and cheering in honor of Christopher Columbus. The kids collected candy and ran around with friends until we met my family at the park where the parade ended - let the eating of delicious food and live music commence! Despite some gale force winds and a short downpour we had an amazing day of family fun, as we do every year :)

What about you, been to any good parades lately??


Sunday, October 21, 2012

pumpkin patching.

This weekend many parents followed the age-old tradition of taking their children to the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect pumpkin, buy freshly popped kettle corn, sip hot cider, and take several pictures to make these memories last forever. My mom and dad were absolutely included in that group of parents as they took their 20/30-something daughters to a local farmer's market/pumpkin patch as we've done every year since I can remember. Every year my dad buys me a massive bag of kettle corn along with the best pumpkin in the whole bunch, and this year wasn't any different. Along with this there's always lots of posing for pictures holding the oddest shaped gourd we can find or holding the hand of the scarecrows that surround them. After the patch we usually walk somewhere for lunch and just laugh and talk about what's currently going on in our lives. I absolutely love this day each year, it's incredibly hard to top how much fun we have. Parentals - thank you for introducing us to this autumn tradition when we were young, and for keeping it a part of our lives ever since :)


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

oops! forgot something.....

soooo i totally goofed, i apologize for the lack of a "Motivation Monday" post this week!  if you couldn't tell from last Thursday's post i was not having the best week, and although i was able to enjoy my weekend, the stress sort of carried over into this week  :-/  however, it all ended up being great because the stress i was feeling was attributed to the fact that, after much consideration, i have decided to leave the job (and job family) that i have loved for the past three years to embark on an exciting new career journey.  i will be sharing more news about that at a later date, as we are still getting all of the logistics and details worked out for my transition, so i would like to take this time to focus on the wonderful ladies that i will be leaving once i begin my new job at the end of the month.

i began working at the university three years ago and over that time i have managed to make some of the most amazing friends!  when i started at this job i was so nervous, and a little intimidated, as well.  the gals had already been here for a decent amount of time and, as anyone can remember from high school, it's not always easy to insert yourself into a group of people women that have already been friends/co-workers/etc. together for a while.  but much to my pleasant, pleasant surprise, these ladies were so sweet and welcoming, and could not have been more wonderful towards the new girl. 

since then they have gone from co-workers, to new friends, to actual friends, to sisters, to one, big, happy, dysfunctional (haha) family.  i love them all dearly and will miss them more than they know. 

if you're lucky enough to have a group of ladies in your lives everyday like i am/was, be sure to cherish those friendships, for you can never have enough positive, sweet people in your life  : )

At Courtney's (bottom right) wedding - July 2010

anyone else's boss come to hear them sing with their band??  mine did.  : )

co-worker run-in at Mizzou for homecoming!

dancin' at Court's wedding!

MARGE!  (you'll see more of this lady when i'm in her wedding in the spring!)


Thursday, October 11, 2012


how i feel today:

yes, my friends, it's "one of those days".  i'm feeling beyond blah/stressed/sad/overwhelmed etc., and i was enjoying my misery JUST FINE until this sneaky little biotch had to cross my path on pinterest and make me feel all inspired and crap:

just goes to show, God and those you love know how wonderful and valuable you are, and they believe in you.  i am so thankful to my family and friends (my girls! you know who you are...) for helping me get through a tough day.  their help and advice hasn't quite worked it's magic yet, so i ask you to send some prayers and positive thoughts my way; i'm sure the sun'll come out tomorrow.  today, however?  orphan annie ain't nowhere around these parts.

hope you're all having a wonderful day  : )  and please - don't let me bring you down!  sunshine, fall colors, birds, bunnies, weeeee! 

think it's time for that nap.....

Monday, October 8, 2012

Motivation Monday!

Happy Motivation Monday, all!  How 'bout them loooowww temps creeping in our lives this past weekend - good LORD!  And you know me - cold weather lover over here.  But I don't think I was quite ready that extreme of a sudden drop.  Plus, the activities I enjoy doing in the cold weather consist of pumpkin-patching with coffee in hand, taking photographs of the color-changing leaves, walking the dog (again, with coffee in hand), or visiting the park/zoo/farmer's market with friends and/or family.  When it comes to my fitness routine, this weather just makes it even harder to get those outdoor workouts in, or to even get my tush out from under the covers to go to the gym when I know it's in the THIRTIES outside (Thirties!  In October!).  But, it needs to be done, mind over matter, people.  So, that being said, I've been researching some tips for running/exercising outdoors in cold weather, I think Runner's World really mapped it out well.  Below are their "10 Tips for Running in the Cold":

1. Get Motivated
"Make a date to meet someone for a run," says Jean M., a reader in Colorado. "There's no wimping out when someone is waiting." John Stanton, the founder of the Running Room in Edmonton, Alberta, says the club's Wednesday and Sunday group runs are popular in winter, when the average high is 17°F. In January and February, the Running Room hosts the
Hypothermic Half-Marathon, which attracts 3,500 runners in 14 cities across Canada--even at temps as low as -40°F. "There's a big, free brunch afterward," Stanton says. "People will do anything for omelets and pancakes." Solo? "Tell yourself that you can go back inside after five minutes if it's really bad," says Patti Finke, a coach in Portland, Oregon. "Usually you stay out there." Of course, not everyone objects to winter weather. "A night run during a light snowfall is one of the most peaceful things you can experience," says Justin Lord of Kenmore, New York.  (did someone say pancakes?  where do i sign up?!)

2. Arm Your Feet
To keep warmth in and slush out, run in shoes that have the least amount of mesh. If you have shoes with Gore-Tex uppers, all the better, says Mark Grandonico, president of the
Maine Track Club in Portland. Wear socks that wick away wetness but keep your feet warm. Runner Joe McNulty of Philadelphia swears by nonitchy SmartWool socks(a good friend, long-time runner AND fellow blogger, Courtney from "Making Pies", swears by this SmartWool stuff...and she's pretty darn reliable, if you ask me.)

3. Get Dressed
You want to be warm without sweating so much you get a chill. "The rule of thumb is to dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer," says Maine Track Club president Mark Grandonico. "You should be slightly cool when you start." Think layers of technical fabrics, to wick sweat, with zippers at the neck and underarm area to vent air as you heat up. You'll learn your own preferences, but readers Darrell Arribas, of Cumberland, Rhode Island, and Eric Maniloff, of Stittsville, Ontario, both helped create these general guidelines. Assume you always wear gloves or mittens and a hat.

30 degrees: 2 tops, 1 bottom. Long-sleeve base layer and a vest keep your core warm. Tights (or shorts, for polar bears).
10 to 20 degrees: 2 tops, 2 bottoms. A jacket over your base layer, and wind pants over the tights.
0 to 10 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms. Two tops (fleece for the cold-prone) and a jacket. Windbrief for the fellas.
Minus 10 to 0 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms, extra pair of mittens, 1 scarf wrapped around mouth or a balaclava.
Minus 20 degrees: 3 tops, 3 bottoms, 2 extra pairs of mittens, 1 balaclava, sunglasses. Or, says Arribas, "Stay inside."  (inside, it is. could you pass the hot chocolate and latest InStyle, please?)

4. Be Seen
With limited daylight, chances are you'll be running in the dark (Alaskans, sadly, get only a few hours of dim light per day). Tall snowbanks on plowed streets make you even harder to see. Wear reflective, fluorescent gear, and don't be shy about lighting yourself up like a Christmas tree, says RW's own Ed Eyestone, who runs in snowy Utah. Says Adam Feerst, a coach and trail-race director in Denver, "I use a headlamp or carry a flashlight, less so I can see where I'm going and more so people can see me."

5. Warm up Prerun
Move around inside enough to get the blood flowing without breaking a sweat. Run up and down your stairs, use a jump rope, or do a few yoga sun salutations. A speedy house-cleaning works, too, says D. A. Reng from Kentucky. "The cold doesn't feel so cold when you're warm," says Laura Salmon of Akron, Ohio. If you're meeting a group of running buddies, don't stand around in the cold chatting before you run. "We sit in our cars," says Denver's Feerst, "waiting for one person to get out before we all get out."

6. Deal with Wind
Start your run into the wind and finish with it at your back, so the breeze doesn't blast you after you've broken a sweat. To avoid a long, biting slog, you can break this into segments, running into the wind for about 10 minutes, turning around to run with the wind at your back for five minutes, and repeating. You can also seek man-made wind protection. "When we get wind here, it can be like a hurricane," says Chuck Bartlett, the team director of Seattle's Club Northwest. "The buildings downtown block it." Protect exposed skin. "I use BodyGlide on my nose and on my cheeks to prevent frostbite," says the Canadian Stanton. Other options include Vaseline (a bit messy) and Kiehl's All-Sport Non-Freeze Face Protector.

7. Forget Speed
"Winter running is more about maintenance miles than speedwork," says Feerst. In very cold weather, look for "inversions," places that are elevated and where the air will be warmer. "Even 300 feet up, the air can be 20 degrees warmer, which makes a big difference," says Steve Bainbridge, the trails liaison for the Fairbanks,
Alaska-based Running Club North, the northernmost running club in the United States. Bainbridge's coldest run took place in minus 50 degree weather. "My eyelashes were freezing together," he says. If you can't run in the middle of the day when the temperatures are warmest, run twice a day, says Stanton, three miles in the morning and three miles in the evening: "That's better than doing one long six-mile run where you might get very cold toward the end."

8. Change Quickly Postrun
Your core body temperature drops as soon as you stop running. To avoid a lingering case of the chills, change your clothes--head to toe--as soon as you can. Women need to get out of damp sports bras quickly. Put a dry hat on wet hair. And drink something hot. "We go to a coffee shop after our runs, and take turns using the bathroom to change," says Grandonico. "Then we all relax with coffee and bagels." Driving to a run? Bring a thermos of green tea or hot chocolate in your car.  I know I struggle with this - I stay in my workout clothes for WAY too long, post-workout.  If you're going home, change into dry clothes, wait about a half an hour (if you have the time to spare), and once you've sipped your "something hot" jump into the shower.  It's best to let your body warm up to room temperature before jumping into a scalding hot shower to warm up.  Throw on a big sweatshirt and comfy pants with snowflakes on them, get under a blanket with the dog and sip some hot tea while you unwind. **Don't forget to pat yourself on the back for that run you just did  : )

9. Deal with Rain
Runners in Mobile, Alabama, the wettest city in the United States, are always prepared for rain--67 inches per year, in fact. "In my car, at all times, I have a spare pair of sneakers, a running outfit, and three beach towels," says Allyson Lamey, a member of the
Port City Pacers club. "When it's raining, I slip my stocking feet into plastic baggies, then put on my running shoes," says Darryl Dalcerri of Lompoc, California. "The baggies keep my feet dry even when I run through puddles." Most Port City Pacers rotate pairs of shoes. If you have to dry shoes overnight, crumple up newspaper and cram it tightly into your shoes, with the insoles removed. The newspaper soaks up the moisture.

10. Go Someplace Warm
For runners in the South who want to race close to home, winter is the only time when temperatures are moderate enough to go after a personal record, which is why Florida alone offers seven marathons in February. Not up for 26.2 miles? Other popular races include the
Los Angeles Chinatown Firecracker 5-K/10-K, the Hilton Head Half-Marathon and 10-K, and the MyoMed Ragnar Relay Del Sol in Arizona. Or go to the Race Finder to choose your own distance and destination. What more motivation do you need?  An extreme solution to the cold weather-workout blues, but hey, who doesn't love a sunny vacation??  Well, me, but that's another story.

Most of these are for REALLY cold weather, so maybe a little premature for Fall, but it never hurts to be prepared and stock up on your ideas and gear early, eh?? 

What are YOUR cold weather-workout tips??

group runs for motivation!

running with friends makes the time go by quickly!

don't forget the snowflake pants and hot beverage....

....and a snuggle with something cute and warm! (you just don't get cuter than Maxwell)

Have a great Monday, GO CARDINALS!!