Friday, September 30, 2011

Let the Anniversary Weekend begin....

Oh, hey there!!  What am I doing, you ask?? is ALMOST out & I'm just sitting here admiring these beauties....
Lovely, aren't they??
Yep, they're BEAUTIFUL!!  

He totally knows the way to my heart. I LOVE flowers!! (I get it from my Mama...)

We decided no gifts (I made him something...I'll share later), but I sure didn't mind these making their way to me at school.

A great start to our upcoming anniversary weekend...  :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday's Devotion: Making Good Decisions

Tragically many people are the victims of their own bad decisions. Faced with choices every day, they turn their backs on what is right or what is best and decide instead on what is wrong or what will bring them harm. Only afterward do they realize that bad decisions will always result in bad consequences.

 King Rehoboam stubbornly rejected the wise advice of his nation's elders and instead followed those only who told him what he wanted to hear. As a result, conflict broke out and the nation divided. The Bible warns, "Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap" (Gal 6:7).

Life is filled with decisions- some minor but life changing. How will you make them? The most important thing is this: Seek God's will in EVERY decision. Pray. Turn to the Scriptures. Seek the advice of Godly friends. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. God loves you and His way is always best.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6

Run Like Ya Stole Something: Running Tips

I was a runner in college, but I put my running shoes in the closet for awhile after I graduated.  Getting back in it has been my 26 year old body isn't responding the way it did when I was in my "early twenties." (I feel ridiculous saying that- I know how absurd it sounds, but it's the truth.)  I LOVE running! I love how it makes me feel and how it changes my body (along with some weight training).  Here is what I've learned during my "retraining" to become a runner again....
Here we go, my top running tips:
1. Buy good shoes!!!
You need to give your body, particularly your feet, adequate support. This means buying running (not cross training, hiking, etc.) shoes that support your foot type. It's also important to replace them every 300 miles or so because you wear out the soles and padding. No, they're not always cheap, but it's worth it.  I took a test online (answered questions about my feet, stride, the way I land when I run, my arch, etc.) to find out what kind of shoes are best for me, then ordered them on New Aasics for $80- score!!
2. And good socks.
If you tend to get blisters easily like I do, invest in some good socks. I like smart wool. Plain cotton socks rub when they get sweaty, and blisters are no fun!
3. Get some music.
 I don't always listen to my i-pod, but I like having it available to pump me up if I'm running a big hill, doing a tempo run, or just trying to get myself to keep going on a long run. A little Come Thou Fount, Wave on Wave, or The World's Greatest are just what I need to get my mind right sometimes.
4. Become BFF with ice & epsom salt.
Epsom salt is seriously a magic formula. I cannot WAIT to get home from a long run and soak in an epsom salt bath with the jets on- it makes my life complete. Ice stinks, but it helps prevent and heal muscle and joint injuries.  I freeze water in Dixie cups and peel the cup- cheap/easy way to give yourself an ice massage.
5. Stretch often (just not before a run).
I've read lots of research about the negative effects of stretching cold muscles.  If your muscles get tight, you won't have to same range of motion, agility, etc.  I pop in a yoga DVD once a week and try to stretch regularly.  My calves and quads particularly stay tight...
{And maybe one day I'll be able to do that...A girl can dream, right?}
 I can't day it enough. Water, water, water, and an occasional sports drink (just don't go overboard because they tend to have a lot of sugar).  There is also lots of research about chocolate milk being a top post-run recovery drink. I LOVE cm, so I am in.
7. Eat a healthy,well-balanced diet.
No low-carb diets while training! Think a combo of lean protein, complex carbs, and fruits and veggies.
Pinned Image
8. Don't forget rest days!
 Listen to your body.  Don't run if you're sick or injured (you'll do more harm than good), and take 1-2 rest days a week.  Your body needs time to recover, and you'll come back stronger than ever.  This is a good time to cross train (elliptical, swim, walk, ride a bike, yoga, etc.)
9. Find somewhere you enjoy running, or people you enjoy running with.
This helps with motivation.
10. Do not compare yourself to others. 
 You may not be as fast as someone else or able to run for as long of distances, but you're still lapping everyone on the couch!!  Keep it up, focus on your own goals, and be proud of what YOU and your body are accomplishing.
Pinned Image
11. Run/Walk.
 If you're just starting out, don't be afraid to do some run/walks. Walk 3 minutes, jog for 1 minute. You'll build up cardiovascularly and as your endurance improves, you'll be able to run longer and faster.
12. Dress the part. 
Think loose fitting, seamless, and dri-fit. Chaffage stinks. And burns in the shower!!  OR go for some body glide if you can't afford a new workout wardrobe. :) Like me.
And this might be helpful.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I'm Lovin' Wednesday!

I am LOVIN' that the hubby & I get to celebrate our 1 year anniversary this weekend...with cake!
I am LOVIN' that we had such a GREAT turnout at See Ya at the Pole this morning. All the students are invited to meet at the flagpole to pray over our country, government, community, and school.
  I am LOVIN' the serious business s'more stuffed chocolate chip cookies I made last night....WOW.  Seriously, heaven in your mouth.  I followed this recipe...Cookie Recipe {These aren't my cookies.....mine weren't quite as "aesthetically pleasing" and I was a little embarassed to take a pic. Ha!}

I am LOVIN' that my body is feeling healthy (as in no injuries) and training has been going well.  Only 5 more weeks of training....crazy.
I am LOVIN' that I remembered a precious idea for an anniversary gift for Big Jon. A lady I used to babysit for did this for her husband and I loved the idea....I remember making a mental note way back then.  I'll post about if after I give it to him. :)
And I'm LOVIN' my inspiration for this week....
 Happy Wednesday, sweet friends!!!! :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm an old married woman....

Where, oh where, does the time go????

And when do I officially have to quit calling myself a newlywed?
{I vote never.}

This Sunday will be our fabulous 1 year anniversary!! I cannot believe how fast this last year has flown by...and although I have so loved every.single. moment., it makes me sad that it's already gone.  I hope the rest of my life doesn't go by this quickly.
I still haven't decided what we'll do to celebrate.
 I'm tossing around a few options. We are postponing the anniversary trip to Fall Break in a few weeks, so I do have a little bit of time left.  Fall break is also my hubby's 28th birthday (creeping up on 30- so crazy!) and Gold Rush weekend- a pretty big deal around here.  We'll probably do a 2 nighter somewhere and get a massage.
  They're not a luxury...they're therapeutic, remember?

I do know one thing fo sho.  We WILL be celebrating this weekend with a free cake from the fabulous bakers who made our wedding cake. I'll enjoy every last bite because I have an 18 mile long run this Saturday. Longest distance yet- that's called a PDR in running world. :) It'll make my cake that much sweeter (no pun intended- maybe a little bit).

I guess I might be biased, but our wedding cake was seriously the most beautiful (and delicious!) cake EVER in my opinion, and I'm pretty pumped for a (FREE) one from Celso's Cakes!! Check out their website...that's me on the home page! Weird! (I'm not they guy with the chef's hat on- I'm the chick on the cover of Wedding Day know, in case you were confused.)
So, I am going to stop this post now before I get way mushy gushy about how much I love my husband, how blessed and thankful the Lord put us together, how Jonathan is THE best man on the planet, how this has been the most amazing year of my life, and how I fall more and more in love with him each and every day. I don't want y'all throwing up in your mouth. :)
Anyways....wanna help me decide where we should go to celebrate?

 Here are some of my thoughts....I wanna hang around home Fri & Sat night cuz I have an awesome 20 miler Saturday morning, and I want to go to Gold Rush.  Seriously, I live for my once-a-year bbq sandwich, lemonade, candied pecans, and homemade ice cream. Ahhhh, festival food!! 
Oops, back to our anniversary.
Here are some of my ideas:
  • Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge cabin for 2 nights (I love The Apple Barn & Cade's Cove)
  • 1 night in Callaway Gardens w/ massage
  • a night in Atlanta (nice dinner, hotel in Atl) with a massage in the morning
  • a night at Chateau Elan with a  massage (I know it's close, but their spa is the yea, it's really that great that it's worth me being that cheesy)
  • 2 nights in Asheville
Back to the cheesy lovefest. It really doesn't matter where we go, because we always have a blast together and I am just looking forward to spending a long, relaxing weekend with my handsome husband- away from the community where people know us so we can make out in public and get away with it. :)  Just kidding. (or not.)

Any other suggestions???? 
 How did you celebrate your 1 year?

Oh, and we decided not to do gifts. We both tend do go waaaayyy overboard on our gift giving escapades....and seriously, we have EVERYTHING we could ever want/need.  (I still really want a convertible at some point in my life- but I got a new house this year- can't push my luck!)  Anyway, a sweet lady I work with has a sister with terminal cancer, and we decided to donate to her fund rather than giving one another gifts.  Giving really is better than receiving.... 

I am thinking about writing him a letter....maybe one every year and keep them all in a book? Just brainstorming...anyone have any sweet ideas for that?

Friday, September 23, 2011

I need a new 'DO'

I wear my hair like this....every. single. day. 
I try to blame it on the excuse that I come to school early to run & shower in our nasty prison-like locker room bathrooms. But if I'm honest, I'd probably wear my hair like that anyways. I don't like spending a lot of time on my hair. Actually, I don't like to spend a lot of time getting ready. period.

Check out this entry with some of my "hairstyles" through the years:  

I am taking my Biotin like a good girl and growing this mane out! I wish I was rich & could afford the very authentic looking extensions....I'd totally do it. I NEED a new do.

Is that SWEAT or did you take a shower with your clothes on??

Do I win an award for the longest blog post title ever??  :)

Obviously you can tell from the title what I'm here to talk about.  SWEAT- and lots of it!

Seriously....are y'all sweaters like I am? I gross my own self out.  You saw the picture from yesterday morning after my little encounter with Shaun T and INSANITY....I mean, I know I drink my body weight in water, but still.

I also had to run 8 miles on the treadmill last night (sooooo boring!), and I'm beginning to notice a trend with the fact that I can honestly RING my nappy little pony tail out after a workout.  I would imagine my sweat slinging all over the place was a little distracting and disturbing to my neighbors on the treadmill.
Fortunately it was just my friend Becky next to me and I don't think she judged me too harshly. 

Anyway, wanna see a before and after? Yea, I thought you did!!

BEFORE: Lookin' normal.
 Okay, maybe 'normal' was an exaggeration seeing as how I can't even open my eyes for the picture, but at least not sweating excessively...yet.
I know it's dark and you may not be able to tell, but my shirt is a different shade of gray...totally soaked, and I am rockin' a pretty sweet slicked back pony tail.  When we got in the car, Big Jon said "Your hair is dripping onto the back of your shirt."  Ha! At least BB looks good- and she killed it with the workout I gave her!

So, in conclusion, I sweat like a dude.

Anyone else an excessive sweater??

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Thank you, Lord, for our major rainfall this morning.
 I knew it was going to be a great day when I pulled in the parking lot and heard some thunderous booms followed by flashes of lightning that lit up the 6 am sky.  I was scheduled to run 8 fabulous miles this morning, but mother nature didn't wanna cooperate. I'm cool with that thought because we REALLY need this rain. Fortunately I made it in the building before the monsoon started...(seriously, I am the "bag lady" and it takes me 87 hours to lug all my crap into the building.)

So, in lieu of my run (which WILL take place this evening on the treadmill- oh joy!), I joined the cross country team in the gym for a little INSANITY!!!!!

You remember Insanity from my bride-to-be boot camp , right?  It is total kick butt! We did the Pure Cardio workout, which left me lookin' like this....
And no, that is NOT from the's just sweat.
 Nothing like a good, heart-pounding, make ya wanna quit, SWEATY Mcsweat sweat workout.

On another note.... I finally splurged and bought myself a new pair of running shorts. I know onlookers are thankful they don't have to see all my junk-in-the-trunk in soaked trash bag shorts anymore. 
These guys are the Reebok Play Dry shorts and they were pretty awesome. They are SUPER comfy & even though I didn't run in them I have a feeling they most likely won't chafe.  Seriously, I know chaffing isn't an issue we like to talk about (let alone visualize), but GEEZ I have chaffed in places I didn't even know existed during my long runs!  Body Glide & I have become BFF, and hopefully these shorts will help out too...

Happy RAINY Thursday!

Caffeine Addict?

Hi. My name is Danielle, and I have a little caffeine addiction.

Need proof?

Yes, I am double tea in one hand, coffee in the other!
(Sorry Big Jon, I jacked your cup from the house. I'll bring it back home today.)
Seriously, could I be cheesin' any harder???
I picked those cups because they matched my outfit....
(Not really....They're just the only "to-go" coffee cups we have.)

Actually, to be honest...
 I have given up coffee for the most part (I only drink 2-3 cups a week), and I definitely don't touch sodas or pop of coke or whatever you call it....they are straight from the devil & will rot your teeth out WHILE adding to your waistline- awesome, huh?  But, I am a TEA DRINKER FO LIFE!! Fortunately tea doesn't have nearly the amount of caffeine as coffee and has lots of other health benefits.
According to this article...
 90% of Americans report using caffeine on a daily basis. Caffeine is reported to be the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance on earth. We are in love with the mental boost it gives and habitually take it, usually without much thought. The Coffee Statistics Report for 2010 reports more than 400 billion cups are consumed worldwide every year.

Another article from National Geographic News said that caffeine addiction is a mental disorder, according to doctors.  Dang it, Jon was right about me all along. (Ha, just kidding....sorta!)
Are you addicted to CAFFEINE?

What's your favorite caffeinated beverage??

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Race Goal!

I think everyone in my life knows I am running a marathon.  I have, in fact....
44 days
1067 hours
64035 minutes
 till the Savannah Rock-n-Roll race.  This is my first FULL marathon, and I have no clue what to expect. I have no clue what my body can and will do while running 26.2 miles.
I am mega nervous because I want to do well & have worked hard to put my miles in on my training log.  I have taken care of my body and given myself more ice massages than I care to count.

Here's some great advice I received from my "running coach"'s helped calm my nerves a bit. She says "It's better to go into a race a little under trained than over trained or injured." I'm hoping to step up to the start line healthy and well trained.

And here's my goal: TO FINISH!!!

My plan is to expect the unexpected and control the controllables (my attitude and effort). 

 You never know what to little calf could give me some issues as it tends to do; I could have a side stitch that practically takes me down to the ground; I MIGHT have to make a major run for the port-o-potty because I ate too many Clif gel blocks; I could trip and fall or roll an ankle- something fun like that. Who knows!?!?! Obviously those are all worst case scenarios, but unfortunately they have ALL happened to me at some point in my training.  
{Sorry for the scary picture}

I'll use this race as a benchmark for future races. Yea, I said it. I plan to run another marathon (assuming I like this one and don't die!).