I’m Baaaack

So it’s been a year….  I’m sure all 3 of you who read my blog on a regular basis missed me and have wondered where the hell all my blog posts were.  I don’t really have an excuse, just that life got in the way, and I was being lazy 🙂  Fear not fellow readers, I am back and going to try my best to keep up with the blog!

What have I been up to?  Well….We MovedWE MOVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Matt and I bought a house 🙂   We figured it was about time to settle down and have a permanent place to live.  We bought a brand new home, with an unfinished basement.  Matt has been enjoying doing the work himself and planning out the design of the basement! Due to Matt being on the road so much this year and barely home on the weekends, we aren’t as far as we’d like to be on the construction of the basement; however, Matt got a new job working M-TH and is home every night!!!!!!!!!  This year has been such a blessing, and we are so thankful for everything we have.

Here are some pictures from our photo shoot we did last year in our new neighborhood.  Pictures by Kynn Schulz Photography.

We are living in a nice quiet town, outside of Rochester, MN.  It’s a great halfway point since I work in Rochester and Matt is working in Rosemount.  Having Matt home every night has been a little of an adjustment, but overall it’s wonderful having him home so we can go on runs together or have dinner together!

It’s good to back in the blogosphere and I hope you enjoy catching up on what we’ve been up to 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marathon Fail… Twin Cities Marathon

Seriously, why do I do this to myself???????  For some reason it really sounded like a good idea, not sure why because the first one didn’t go so well.  I honestly thought, experience would be on my side and I’d do much better than the last time…  I was wrong and I need to remember to stop believing in myself 😉

I could blame a lot of things on another failed marathon attempt, but I take full responsibility…  I am not meant to run 26.2 miles, and I understand that now.  I truly enjoy running and like seeing what I can do (obviously it’s not marathons).

I don’t mean for this post to be a pity party, this isn’t an Attention Seeking post.  I’m not looking for uplifting words like “At least you finished” or “That’s impressive, I would never do that”, or “Lots of people wouldn’t have even started”.  All of those are true sentiments and I appreciate people’s candor, however, it was awful and I’m not all that impressed with myself.  But that’s just how I feel about me… I’d be super proud of anyone else 🙂

My training started off really well, I created a spreadsheet with a variety of runs (hills, speed work, long runs) as well as lifting/cross-training days, rest days and stretching days.  About a month in it pretty much went out the window; I have the worst immune system ever!!  I got a really bad cold in May, June & September… getting chest congestion while trying to train for a marathon really don’t work well and my training got completely off track.  I thought after the June sickness I’d be able to make up for lost mileage and I was actually doing pretty well…  until I got sick again in September, a little less than 2 weeks before the marathon.  And on top of getting sick, at a Bachelorette Party (a week before the marathon) a drunken cowboy stepped on my foot and it was swollen and badly bruised… shoes hurt (yep, I’m making excuses, didn’t I say I take full responsibility? 😉 ).

I was actually debating not even doing the marathon.  My husband and I tried (well I tried, Matt kindly ran with me) running a week before the marathon… 1.5 miles and I thought I was going to die!  I gave myself til the end of the week before I made a decision.  Luckily, I had to go on an antibiotic for a procedure I was having a week later and it cleared up my cold/chest congestion.

I sought out a friend from grade school, I knew was also running to see if she wanted to run together.  We don’t have the same running style (I like to do a run/walk on long runs, where she likes to just run); however, we were both in similar positions.  Neither one of us were very confident in our running abilities in this race, but were happy to be running with someone and knew together we could probably do ok 🙂

I wasn’t sure how well I’d do not doing the run/walk, so I told her I’d run as far as I could before I needed to start doing the run/walk.  I was able to run half the race with her and was doing really well.  I was on track to finishing in a 4:15-4:30, which was my goal 🙂  I was really proud of myself, however, my first mistake was either not starting out doing the run/walk or stopping at the half-way point to start the run/walk…

By mile 16, I could barely run and by mile 18 I couldn’t run at all.  I had thought about quitting and it didn’t help that my mp3 player ran out of juice; but I really wanted my shirt and my medal (whether or not I felt I deserved it…).  I decided to take it one mile at a time.  It was helpful that I had friends/family at mile 16 and 22 and they were also waiting for me at the finish line.

A part of me is glad that I walked a good portion of it, just because of the fact that I felt really good at the end.  I didn’t feel sick, my body didn’t hurt and I didn’t feel like I was going to die.  I would have prefered to finish sooner than I did, but I finished 🙂  All-in-all, I didn’t do too horribly considering the fact that I walked almost 10 miles and only finished an hour past my goal… Bright Side!!!!!

Lesson Learned: No Marathons, Only Halfs!  🙂

On another note…

Matt, his Grandpa, Uncle, and Cousin all ran the 10 miler!!!  They all did such a great job 🙂  The race was fun for everyone and I’m glad to have been able to share it with so many amazing people!

Vegas Vacation & The Not so Grand Canyon

Since we had gone to bed early the night before, we woke up very refreshed and ready for the day.  We started our day off with a little gym time (yeah, that’s right we actually work out on vacation 😉 ).  After the gym we headed down to the pool for some sun and relaxation!

We made some friends at the pool, some very cool Canadians!  It was Kayla’s 21st birthday and she was celebrating with her aunts and cousin.  They were all very nice and we had a great time together, however, too many b-day drinks and shots and I was wasting majority of my sunny day sleeping it off in the hotel room… 🙂  Oh well, it’s Vegas right?  Needless to say, I didn’t drink the rest of the vacation 😉

After I had slept off my pool fun, Matt and I made our way to our first Vegas show….  Daniel Tosh!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSaturday, was a little disappointing… it was pretty cloudy and rainy for about half of the day.  We were able to get a little pool time in the morning but then the weather changed and we tried to waste time until our next Vegas show, Mystere!  The people in the Cirque Du Soleil shows are amazing.  I cannot believe the things they can do!  Mystere was a good show, a little trippy in the ‘story line’, but very cool all the same 🙂

Sunday was our Grand Canyon South Rim excursion.  Matt and I were super pumped because neither of us have been there.  We took a bus tour that stopped at the Hoover Dam for a short period of time and then headed off for the Grand Canyon.  We opted for an additional Pink Jeep tour while at the Grand Canyon so we could see more of it.

The day started off super nice and sunny.  It looked like it was going to be a great day!  Our first stop was the Hoover Dam; the bus driver we had, was incredibly vocal and gave lots of information about the Hoover Dam.  He told us stories about how long it took, how many people helped to build it, and additional little tidbits which made the trip very entertaining and enjoyable.

Matt was a huge concrete nerd and was really excited about all the concrete used to build the Hoover Dam as well as the additional bridge made years later 🙂  He couldn’t get enough pictures of the bridge and dam!  I guess that’s what happens when you work in construction and your specialty is concrete 🙂

From the Hoover Dam, it took about 2.5-3 hours to get into the Grand Canyon National Park.  We noticed it continued to become more and more cloudy and even a little rainy…  The temperature dropped dramatically and I was completely under-dressed for our excursion.  Our bus stopped for lunch at the National Geographic Visitor Center.  The visitors center thankfully had lots of ‘Grand Canyon’ themed clothing (neither Matt or I were all that excited to have GRAND CANYON displayed across our entire tops but we were desperate and I was cold…).

As it got closer to our Pink Jeep tour time, it started to rain a lot harder and the Pink Jeep people decided to cancel the tours for the day 😦  They said visibility at the Canyon was basically non-existent, our bus driver doubted that so on we went to one of the look out points.

And drum roll please…  The Grand Canyon in all it’s glory!

See that tiny stretch of Canyon?  Grand isn’t it? 🙂  Total let down, and super bummed we didn’t get to see hardly anything.  With all the crappy weather, I really feel like we should go on another vacation 🙂

Monday was our last day in Vegas, and what a crappy day it was…  More rain 😦  We walked the Strip a little more and made our down to the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign, did a little gambling and decided to call it a day before packing up and heading to the airport.

Here are the rest of our pics from our vacation 🙂

All in all it was nice to be with my husband for a few days without the congestion of life 🙂

What Happens in Vegas…

…is a blog post online (for all to see!)  🙂

Happy 6 Year Anniversary!!!!!!

I can’t believe we’ve been married for 6 years already!  Time really goes by way too fast!  I always imagined what my life would be like after getting married.  House and Kids… isn’t that what’s supposed to happen? 🙂  We have neither, but we have each other and we’ve been through a lot together, which I wouldn’t have any other way!

Anyway, getting back to Vegas….  We decided it was time for a little get away.  We hardly ever see each other since Matt works in another state during the week, works every other weekend and then home either part or all of a weekend.  So needless to say we needed some time together.

We left early on a Thursday and arrived in Vegas around 11 am, luckily we were able to check-in right away at our hotel, Treasure Island.  After getting settled, we set off to explore The Strip.

We looked at all the different hotels, enjoyed the sunshine on our walk and then went to Madame Tussaude’s Wax Museum.  I’m amazed at the artwork and detail involved in making the wax sculptures!  However, everytime I think of wax museums I always think of that wonderful scary movie House of Wax, thinking they are going to start blinking and come to life 🙂  Anyway, we met lots of celebrities and had a good time!

And being the old people we are, we went to bed at 8pm 😉  No, seriously….  but in our defense it was 10pm our time and we had been up since 2am.

4th of July: Food, Fun & Footfalls

We enjoyed a wonderful 4 day weekend at the lake over the holiday!  Matt and I both had Friday off so we were able to spend the long holiday together (which I can’t even tell you the last time we were in the same place for 4 whole days).

Melvin really enjoyed the car ride up to the lake 😉

We got to the lake late Wednesday night and enjoyed some food and drinks with our family and friends before heading to bed. I’m kind of a loser at the lake or on vacation in general.  I like going to bed at a reasonable time in order to get up at a decent time, so I can enjoy the WHOLE day.  I don’t like sleeping until 11 or staying up til 2am, it throws off my whole schedule, plus sleeping in just wastes sunshine hours.

Thurday morning, I went for a great 4 mile run.  It’s so refreshing running at the lake and I enjoyed every minute (of my 32 minute run… 8 min/miles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  can you tell I’m pretty proud??  and I got the same time as Matt 🙂 ).

We enjoyed laying out and boat rides all day Thursday and Friday!  I read a few good books The Heist, Second Honeymoon, & Now You See Her, and enjoyed the sunshine (with SPF 30 🙂 ).

Holidays aren’t the same without treats, Right?!  I made 2 different kinds; S’more Rice Krispie treats for us and then 4th of July Rice Kripsie Treats for the party!

IMAG0437mlFor the 4th of July Rice Krispie Treats; each layer needs:
5 C. Rice Krispies

3 TBSP butter

1 bag marshmallows

Melt butter and marshmallows (for red and blue layers, add 30 drops of food coloring), stir in cereal.  Press into sprayed 9×13″ pan, making sure layers are even.

We had a great holiday weekend!  I think we often forget that 4th of July and other holidays come at a price and that we are lucky to be able to have these parties and gatherings.  I’m thankful for everyone involved in the military who makes everything we do in America possible. I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday!

Memorial Weekend Fun

We were blessed to be able to spend some of the Memorial Weekend holiday with my family (and extended family/friends).  I’ve mentioned before that we have some really good family friends that we often spend holidays with, Memorial Weekend being one of the many 🙂

We drove up Friday after work and got to the Lake around 9:30, I unpacked all the food and then hit the hay…  I was tired and needed to get up in the morning for a run.  Around 7:30 I was ready for my run.

Memorial Weekend is always hit or miss when it comes to weather.  And lately MN/WI hasn’t had the greatest track record for the season, I mean we had a blizzard the beginning of May for goodness sakes.  However, it was shaping up to be a pretty good day, and I wasn’t prepared at how nice it was actually going to be on my run.  I’m the worst judge of how warm it is or going to be once I start running… I wore my capris and a long-sleeve running shirt; probably could have gone with a t-shirt….  Oh well!

My plan was to do an 8ish mile loop, doing 7:1s (run 7 min, walk 1 min).  The area around where the lake house is, is really gorgeous.  Very scenic and full of nature!  It was so surreal to be out on the open road with just the noises of nature (and a few passing cars).  It was very refreshing to not have the noises/smells of the city in the or seeing the litter on the side of the road.  However, in the back of my mind I kept thinking “What do I do if I see a bear?”  Luckily, the only creatures I saw were birds and the poor road-killed turtle 😦  Last year, I did see a fox on my run which was pretty cool!

Later in the day everyone had finally arrived and we decided to head over to Stone Lake, WI and visit School House Wines.  This is the cutest little wine shop, that we often visit when at the lake!  It has a wide variety of wines at affordable prices.  It was a gorgeous afternoon and we were able to sit out on the patio and enjoy a few cocktails/wines/spirits 🙂

Mother’s Day

As much as I hate winter, and the fact that we had a snow storm on May 2 which means winter lasted 6 months, I am happy to be back home.  I keep realizing things that I have missed and am glad I don’t have to continue to miss.  One of the most important things in life is family and I am so blessed to be able to spend more time with everyone!

Over Mother’s Day weekend, my Grandma came for a visit!  It was so nice to have 3 generations spending time with each other and getting to celebrate the wonderful women that are in my life!

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We started Mother’s Day off with church.  My sister and I then went on a run, and we had a great brunch afterwards.  In the afternoon, we headed over to Canvas and Chardonnay.

What is Canvas & Chardonnay, you might ask??  It’s the combination of drinking and painting! 🙂   Drinking isn’t mandatory, but you sure can if you want… 🙂

I had heard about it on Facebook, and kept thinking it sounded like fun, but a little intimidating since I’m not super artistic.  When I found out my sister had signed us all up, I was pretty excited but a little reserved due to my insecurities.

However, when we got there, the owners really made us all feel super welcome and comfortable.  They were great encouraging us and willing to help out in a non-judgemental way, letting us paint and throw our own personalities into it!  They did step-by-step instructions and made it incredibly easy to follow along.

We had a really great time and can’t wait to do it again!!  If you have something like this in your town or live in Rochester, MN, I definitely recommend it.  It was a wonderful experience and I had a blast!