My 9th Half Marathon - Where the Real Prize was Not Pooping My Pants

A couple of weekends ago I completed my 9th half marathon. It was the worst one I'd ever done but it's okay because I plan to do another one this Spring and hope to get a PR for my 10th one.

My training started off really well. I had goals and was on track. Then I had a week of health issues that forced me to sit out and then for some reason I got lazy and didn't run one week. Thankfully I did complete a ten mile distance run and it went really well so I knew I could still do a half marathon. I've also been going to crossfit and that is a big help in running.

Let's get to the race, shall we?

Three of my friends and I drove up to Lawrence, KS to run the Kansas Half marathon. We had pasta the night before, coffee, etc. Prior to races I normally have steak and potatoes but I opted for pasta, which I'll never do again. My body just does better with protein. However, my body usually does fine with whatever I eat so I'm not sure what happened.

On race day morning we found a parking spot and immediately I got diarrhea cramps! WHY? I was so annoyed. Why couldn't my body have done that 15 minutes ago at the hotel when I used the bathrooms? Anyways, I told my friends I had to immediately find the porter potties so off I went. They were no where to be found but someone finally pointed them out to me. I quickly walked over there and then saw the dreaded line of people. I had about 10 minutes until race time and the big D cramps so I knew I was in trouble. I finally finally finally made it to the porter potty and after using the toilet looked over to see that they had completely forgotten to put toilet paper in there. There wasn't even like the cardboard rolls because I would for sure have used those. What did I do? Well, I used my headband and threw that thing away. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. Judge me.

I made it to the starting line 1 minute before the race started! Hooray! I took off and started to feel pretty good running. I was running with the 2:05 pace group and then around mile three diarrhea cramps hit again. I was so annoyed. I figured they would go away so I kept running and even met up with my friend. Around mile 5ish I knew I needed a porter potty and asked the attendant where the nearest one was. She said she didn't know but would call someone. I was told it was 'right around the corner' and let me tell you, it wasn't. At mile 7 there finally was one but I couldn't go. Stupid body! I ran until mile 8 where there was another restroom but felt okay then mile 9 came and I thought I was gonna poop my pants. I was crouched on the side of the road and asked the attendant where the bathroom was? He said I could run back a mile and I looked at him and said there was no way I was running BACKWARDS in a race. FINALLY at mile 10 there was a porter potty and I was honestly just so relieved I made it in there and didn't poop my pants. Living in Asia and running distance races make for some interesting prayers. =) Miles 10 - 13 went great and I sadly finished with a 2:30ish time but I'm happy to say I didn't poop my pants.

I honestly can't believe my race recap is about poop but if you are a runner you know we all have a race like that at some point in our lives. Next year I'm going to for sure watch what I eat before a race and try to have a better plan.

Other than the stomach issues I really loved the Kansas Half. Lawrence is beautiful and they did such a great job running you through the city, the neighborhoods, the country and by the river. It was a good mix of flat roads and hills and I hope to run it again next fall with a happier stomach and a faster time.

If you are a runner have you ever had a near poop experience like this? Please do tell, I'd love to laugh at with you. 


On My Mind


There's been lots of little random things on my mind lately.

I've been thinking lately that everywhere on social media people are selling on-line classes on how to grow your social media following. And each class is the real deal that will for sure work! And I just wonder, what if we took that drive and made classes like 'How to grow the Kingdom of God'. If us Christians shared the way these awesome social media marketers do I bet heaven would be a bit fuller.

Speaking of eternity, like WHY hasn't Jesus come? I'm so ready! But, I'm definitely not God and His timing is perfect. But I've been thinking lately about what I'm most looking forward to about heaven. Things like, no more politics because Jesus will be King, no more sickness, no more seeing my sweet nephew hang his head and cry every time we say bye, no more death, no more anything bad.

On a completely random note Dave and I watch the movie Patriot's Day about the Boston Marathon bombing. I cried buckets of tears through that movie and especially at the documentary at the end. I started searching for survivors on Instagram and came across this lady. She lost a leg and runs a 5 minute mile and is pretty much one of my new heroes.

Speaking of heroes, Amanda, who shares about running on Instagram is another hero. Her and her family lost their home in Harvey and never once has she complained. She says it's hard but she perseveres. She is also crazy fast and is training for the Olympics.

Once a month, at the beginning of the month, I take a social media break from Instagram and Facebook. And then I wonder why I have them in the first place but yet I enjoy them when I have them. It's a vicious cycle. Amanda, who blogs over at The Lady Okie, does this fast too and it's fun to text and share about our experiences with it.

My summer garden is coming to an end. It was so fun to grow and eat our own food. Let's be real, I threw some seeds down and God grew it. This year we had basil (8 plants total, also known as too much), thyme, oregano, rosemary, tomatoes, kale, swiss chard, okra and cucumbers. I felt like I learned a lot from my little garden. I don't think I'll plant as much next year but I'm hoping to get more produce from really tending to fewer plants. We will see. =)

I can always tell when someone is new to crossfit or running because they post every. single. workout on social media. #aintnobodygottimeforthat is all I gotta say. However, I do think it is neat to see people getting into fitness and I know its super exciting. Because, I once was that girl that posted all my workouts on-line. Why didn't anyone tell me how annoying that was?

Speaking of annoying MLM people are really getting extreme. I try to be polite but COME ON! I don't come at people like 'Hey! You should be a photographer. I make X amount of money each shoot and you could too! Would you like to quit your day job and take pictures?" I do love some products from MLM companies but if their sales people harass I'll never buy from them.

Speedy starts obedience school next week. I went to one school in town to see if she could pass level 1 and let's just say it did not got well and we will never go to school there. However, I did find another place and I'm looking forward to it. So far here is what we have taught Speedy: sit, stay, bang, roll over, wait, down, shake,  other hand shake, high five & dropping a ball. We also make her wait for her food and she has to wait to go through a main door until she is told to do so. She will get in her kennel without a fuss, which is super nice. She runs with us but is not good at heeling yet, which is really why I want to go to obedience school with her. I can't stand a dog that pulls when I'm walking or running them and Speedy is terrible at pulling! I will say after 2 miles on a run she quits pulling, so that is nice. The other day she ran 6.2 miles with me, which is pretty darn good for being a puppy.

Last thing on my mind - Did you know running your own business is incredibly exciting and terrifying at the same time?! I've realized I'm my own CEO, marketing manger, accountant, photographer, editor, admin and more. It's an incredible privilege and gift but also a big responsibility and I'm thankful for all of it.

Photo Credit to Sky & Space

What's been on your mind lately?


Closing a Chapter & Starting Another

Today is my very last day at the Y working as a swim instructor.

It's interesting to see God open and close doors in your life. If we allow Him to be, He really is the Author and Guide of our lives.

When we moved back from Asia I had zero idea what to do for a job. But God did. Never in my life did I think I would work at the Y and never ever did I think I'd be a swim instructor again. But God did. And I'm glad.

Through teaching swim I have had the privilege to tell kids about Christ, I've been able to befriend a Muslim family from Syria and I got to lead my co-worker to The Lord. And I praise God for all the above things mentioned. He alone could have orchestrated those events.

What do I plan to do now? That usually is the question, and of course I understand becuase I'd ask it too. My plan for now is to babysit two days a week. I watch my friends kid at my house. It is a paid job but it's also a big blessing to spend the days with him and to be home.

I also plan to focus on my photography business and to see what God will do with that. I have ideas, plans and a big to-do list of things I want to get done in my business. I plan to dive into that starting next week.

And of course I'll be taking care of this little rascal. She's a good puppy but lots of work.

Photo Credit to Stevie of Sky & Space Designs.


Open Streets ICT - Bike Day

This past Sunday, Wichita hosted the first ever Open Street ICT day. They shut traffic down for 4 miles of one of the main streets in town and opened it up to bikes, shops and food trucks. And it was EPIC! 

My friend Alisha and I recently purchased some super cute Cruiser bikes and were happy to join in on this fun day. Our neighborhood was where the streets were closed so it was very convenient to join in. We would bike until we would see a fun shop we wanted to go to and then would stop and shop and then bike some more. 

We saw a ton of people we knew and it was neat to chat with people along the route. 

I think my favorite part of the bike tour was seeing all the murals that were being painted. Wichita has brought mural art back and artists can submit a design to be painted. If they are selected they get to paint a mural in town. It's so incredibly fun to see all the talent and work that goes into these murals. Some are murals of the state, our city or things that represent both. 

This was the first time our city has ever done something like this and I hope they keep the tradition going. Positive community events are a breath of fresh air. 

Thanks for being awesome Wichita! 

What kind of festivals does your city host?! If you live in Wichita and participated in this what did you think of it? 


Celebrating 32 Years

Yes, I do realize my birthday was in July .... but I haven't posted about it and wanted to.

Each year I seem to have three birthday celebrations: one with Dave's family (there are 3 birthdays in July so we all celebrate together), one with my family and one with my girlfriends.

Last year I asked a friend to come and take some pictures of us before we all went to dinner and this year I wanted to take some pictures again. However, I thought it would be fun to make flower crowns this year. I have no idea where this idea came from either but it was in my head so I made it happen.

If you are in the Wichita area Chisholm Creek Flower Farm has some amazing flowers! I drove up there and purchased a bucket of flowers which was way more than I needed, which just meant I had extra to give away and to put in a vase. To make the crowns I followed the tutorial in the Cut Flower Garden book. If you don't have that book you should buy it like yesterday. It's so good!

My friend Melissa took these photos and she did a lovely job! I highly recommend her for pictures if you are in the Wichita area. You can check out her website, Melissa Dinsmore Photography, to see more of her work.

It should also be noted that rompers and dresses aren't ideal for jumping pictures. However, they are the most hilarious ones! Sadly though, I can't post them on the world wide web because they are too revealing. =)

These pictures were taken with my camera but I did indeed make Speedy wear a flower crown too. She was definitely my favorite birthday gift this year. 

How do you celebrate your birthday? And have you ever made flower crowns?! 


Monument Rocks, Kansas

Monument Rocks, Kansas

Back in July, Dave and I went to Colorado to celebrate my birthday and on the way home we stopped at Monument Rocks. I had never been here before and it was a fun place to trek around. Monument Rocks is located south of I-70, near Oakley. It is a bit off the beaten track but is a really pretty drive of wide open spaces. 

Monument Rocks are listed as one of the eight wonders of Kansas. The rocks are layers of chalk and are 70 feet tall.  They are located near Oakley, Kansas on private property but the owners have opened their land to the public. Cattle also share the land so that was fun to see lots of cows roaming around.

The rock formations themselves are pretty neat and it is kind of fun that this is out in the middle of nowhere. It makes for a fun little trip when driving to / or from Colorado. 

If you have been to Monument Rocks what did you think? Do you take little side trips when you are traveling? 


Things I'm Loving & Things I'm Not Loving

Today I thought I'd do a little roundup of some of the things I'm loving lately and things I'm not loving!


-These H&M t-shirts!

My friend and I found them in Kansas City and I purchased two. Then, I found them again in Seattle and purchased two more followed by two more in Idaho....I clearly have issues. However, they are long and comfortable and can be worn with jeans, leggings or dressed up and they are such a good deal.

-Old Navy Jegging Jeans

And if you think I had issues with the shirts you'll probably clearly think I have issues with jeggings that have an elastic waist band. But seriously! So so comfortable and they don't show your butt crack when you bendover, no muffin top and they don't require a belt. I own three pair and I'm not one bit sorry!

-Heeler Haven Facebook page

I wrote a little bit about this Facebook page when I shared how I got our puppy but I find this dog page so fascinating. It's all about blue heelers so it is really interesting to see what everyone shares about this breed. For the most part it is drama free unless people have a random WWIII FB fights over whether or not you should let your dog out during the eclipse..... *insert emoji eye roll here. Other than the occassional drama it really is a good support group to ask questions and learn. And then we have somewhere to post about our dogs instead of our normal FB page where it might annoy everyone.


Romper, the name itself is odd. I'll admit, when these first came out I thought they were the most hideous outfits of all time, and then a couple of years later I purchased one and I went to the dark side and now love them. I got a black romper with sleeves at Gap and it's so comfy! You can see it right here.

-Flowers from my garden

The picture below is my favorite bouquet from my garden! It's basil and zinnias and is so cheery. If you are wanting flowers for your garden I highly recommend planting basil and zinnias as both are so incredibly easy to grow and they hold up well in a vase. 



Seriously! Are you all trying to make us vomit? Who invented it? I'm just going to call it 'barferang'. I'm pretty sure Amanda and Michelle would protest this with me, right? All the shaky and weirdness from those 3-5 second clips is nauseating. And if you don't know what Boomerang is count yourself lucky. 


Ew! I'm guessing the same person who invented Boomerang also invented pumpkin spice lattes. The name of it, the smell and everything about it is wrong. Why would you do that to coffee? And yes, I guess I will still be your friend if you like everything PSL (just don't bring it to my house, okay? ;) ). 

-Christmas Decor

Why oh why are the stores already selling Thanksgiving and Christmas decor? It is technically still summer! I feel like they rush the seasons. I do love Thanksgiving and Christmas but I want to savor each season thoroughly. How do you feel about all of this? 

Now it's your turn! What is something you love and something you don't love?! 


Watermelon Basil Refreshers

I know most people are back in school but to me it still feels like summer. It's warm outside and summer garden veggies and fruits are at their peak right now.

Every summer, I basically have two recipes that I make all the time. One is one pot pasta (I modify this recipe right here) and the other is watermelon basil water.

This recipe is super easy to make and is so so tasty. And if you are wondering if basil in watermelon sounds odd, just trust me and give it a try. It's so good!


-1 watermelon (either a large one or a mini one will do. I would do a mini one for your first batch. Plus, I think those have a stronger flavor than the large ones)
-1 to 2 cups of loose basil
-1 c. water


-Chop the watermelon into pieces and place in blender with 1/2 c. water and blend until smooth
-Strain the watermelon
-Place basil into the juice and put in refrigerator for 8-10 hours before drinking

What's your favorite drink during the summer time?


Life Lately #35

I haven’t done a little life lately update post in so long so I figure I check in with you all today. 

For starters, my birthday came and went so quickly. It was fun though! My favorite birthday present was Speedy. Also, me and my girlfriends made flower crowns and did a photo shoot and that was a lot of fun too. 

I’m loving this summer weather! It’s warm and I love being outdoors and at the pool. I planted a garden this year and I’ve worked in it just about every single day. It’s been a fun hobby and challenge. 

For some reason I ended up with I believe, 8-9 basil plants and I have basil growing out my ears. I have given a bunch of it away and I managed to make 48 ounces of pesto the other day. I don’t know what made me think planting so many basil plants was a good idea but holy basil, it’s everywhere! 

I have 4 garden beds this year and here is what I have planted: 

-swiss chard
-and a few other cut flower garden items

It’s been fun to grow a garden this year and not have it ripped out due to plumbing issues, unlike last year. =) 

Swimming Laps

This summer I have felt the urge to swim, swim, swim! I’ve been swimming a lot of laps at work and at our neighborhood pool. It’s a really good workout and great on the joints too. Does anyone else out there like to swim laps? 


I know I already shared how we got Speedy but I feel like the last 1+ month of my life has revolved around her. We’ve working really hard to train her now so she will be a good dog when she grows up. Plus, it’s fun to train a puppy and watch them learn and grow so quickly. 

I’m still plugging away at my photography business. It isn’t a full time gig, barely a part time one actually but that’s okay. It takes time to build up clients and I am really enjoying the photo shoots I am doing. 

I work at the Y still two mornings a week and at the end of this month I will start babysitting my friend’s kid two days a week. I think the change of pace this fall with baysittiing will be a welcome change.  


Dave and I traveled to Colorado this month and had such a great time. We saw some neat sights in Denver and hiked the tallest mountain in Colorado.

I’m currently in flight to Idaho. I am going to see my sister and her family and then we will go to Washington with them to see my brother and his family. I love love love family time and it always goes way too fast. BUT I’m super thankful I can travel to see family and I’m really looking forward to hugging on my nephews and niece.  

How have YOU been this summer? What is your favorite things about summer? And if you are counting down the days until pumpkin spice lates please don’t speak to me. ;)  


A New Blog Design! Wahoo!

If you stopped by the blog last week and read the story of how we got Speedy you probably noticed my horrible blog layout / design. If you haven't read how we got Speedy you should click right here and read it. It's a neat story. Anyways, my blog design disaster happened because Photobucket (who hosted my design pictures) decided to start charging for that service and they wanted I think around $399 a year and I said, no thanks!

So, after having the same layout since 2013, I decided it was time for a refresh and I'm really happy with my blog design. It's a perfect balance of simplicity and flowers, which I love both. I purchased it from Pretty Wild Things and Serena did such a lovely job.

The pictures toward the top of the blog are my latest posts. You can click on those pictures to head to those posts. The right side has links to my social media sites and there is even a spot to click on where it will take you to my photography page. So fun! The bottom of the blog has my Instagram pictures, which is nice to have them their so they aren't so prominent on the sidebar. I think everything is working on here but if not, please let me know. I still plan to edit some of the pages but that will come with time.


How we got Speedy - Our New Puppy

I want to take a moment before I share how we got Speedy and say a really big thank you to everyone who walked us through those hard days when we said bye to Static. I remember just praying that God would give us strength and help and He really did.


Thoughts from Someone who Isn't a Mom Yet

Dave and I are four years into marriage and we still don't have kids. Yes, I know you know that. I'm okay with that too...it just seems like a lot of other people aren't okay with that, and they are getting vocal about it.

I've always heard of people saying you should be aware of comments you make around people who are infertile or who have miscarriages but what about those of us who aren't moms yet because we aren't at that stage in life yet? It honestly never used to bother me but this year it has. People have said the oddest things and seem to constantly be inquiring about when we are going to start a family. That's always such a weird question to be asked. What do I say, "Um ... Let me go home and work on that one...?"


Saying Bye to our Sweet dog Static

Yesterday we had to tell our sweet dog Static bye and put her down. I knew it would be hard but it is so much harder than I thought.

It's strange how an animal that can't even talk can fill such a big place in my heart and in our family. And now that she is gone it just feels so sad.

Dave got Static in 2004. It was a hard time in their lives where they needed a new dog. Dave was driving home and saw some dog cross the road and thought she wasn't smart and would get run over. He came back to that same spot later in the day for something work related and she managed to go into the building. He brought her home and thought if she ended up being bad they would just take her to the humane society. Well, he never had to do that because he kept her for the last 13 years.


Winning The Lost for Jesus

I have the following written in the front of my Bible: "There are two things that will last forever: The Word of God and the souls of men." 

And friends, those two things are so so true. My thoughts are kind of all over the place with this post so bare with me, ok?

When we were in Burma (and also when I lived in Korea) it was so easy to tell people about Jesus. Kids who had never heard the name of Jesus soaked up stories about Him and learned at a young age to love Him. Basically, time and time again it was easy to share Christ there. Then, I moved home. And you guys, America is a whole different kind of mission field but let me tell you, America needs Jesus!

One of my biggest fears was to live in America and to lose sight of the real fact that people in Wichita, KS need Jesus. I began to pray that God would give me a real burden for the lost in this town and I can tell you that God indeed is doing that work in my heart, and I praise Him for it.