Tuesday, July 27, 2010

If Shoes Could Talk

If you don't know me, I love to run. I would consider it as one of my hobbies. Strange, yes, but a good hobby/interest to say the least.

As most of you know, I am currently training for my third Chicago Marathon and any training is a lot of wear and tear on your body . . . and your shoes.

I recently just bought a new pair of Newton's (which I LOVE). But, I am going to miss my old pair. They were there for me on my worst days, my best, those ridiculously early mornings, helped me finish my least favorite hot/humid runs, treked through snow, mud, rain, sunshine . . . and many, many miles. I definitely had them way too long, but they were good to me.

I wonder what they would say if they could talk. The stories they would share about our runs together, the days my body had an easier time finishing a 13 mile run or the days my feet refused to put them on because I was too tired/lazy to get out of my warm bed on those below freezing, snowy mornings. I wonder if they would share how awful I am - or how they wish I was faster so I didn't kill the crap out of them because I am slow . . . not sure. Or what they would say they saw along the way - the places they have been: Lakefront, Cary, PA, Florida... But no matter what, good or bad, they are my best friends on my runs.

It is hard for me to get rid of running shoes. I have a few of my past pairs. This sounds strange but I am a bit sentimental when it comes to running. By no means am I a natural runner, I am slower than a frickin' tortoise, but no matter how fast/slow I run, how good/bad my run was, my shoes were there and those memories and the journey we had together are quite special. I am weird.

While I think about my running shoes and the places I go, I also think about my walk with the Lord and the places I go with Him. The good and bad days. The rainy and sunny days. I often question if my "talk" goes hand-in-hand with my "walk." I tell people I run and train, and oh boy, do I. But, I feel sometimes my "spiritual running shoes" with the Lord are often left in the closet. I wonder what stories they would share, neglect? Loss of Joy? The good days? My tears? Hurt and Pain?

This summer has been a challenging one and a dry one to be honest with you . . . Time for a new start . . .

My old newtons are on the left (clearly) and my loud, ridiculously colored new shoes on the right:

I am excited to start my new journey with my new shoes. They had their first run in Lake Placid, NY. Pretty cool place to start breaking them in if you ask me.

And I am excited to start a new refreshed journey with the Lord as well. I am taking off neglect/hurt/pain and putting on joy and trust.

Excited to see where these shoes take me over the next few months . . . and most importantly, where the Lord takes me.

Here Comes the Bride

About a week ago, I put together a bridal shower for my younger sister, Candace. She is getting married on August 28th so as her older sister and Matron of Honor, I tried to make this day as special for her as possible. And party planning is my forte. I love every aspect of it. Check it out:

Candace's color scheme includes browns, yellows and greens so I used that as my inspiration.

The invitations to the shower:

I found yellow paper lanterns and went from there:

Then I found these boxes at Ikea for about 5 bucks each and planted grass seed. That failed miserably so Joseph bought me sod and that worked. Hooray!

I also got these glass bowls from Ikea for about three bucks each and bought out Walmart's lemons and limes in one day. I wonder what the Cashier thought about that.

Table Setting:

These are little cards where placed in a cut tree branch. My wonderful husband cut some tree branches down for me and cut them in 1 inch increments and then cut a slit in them. Wah-lah:

Here is a view of the whole set up:

The beautiful bride, Mother of the Bride and Maid of Honors Aka The Plantz Girls:

It was a great turn out and Candace was showered with many gifts, lots of love, and many prayers.


Well, after much encouragement from close family and friends, I am excited to announce that I am starting my own business. Ah! Exciting. More information to come on this as time unravels.

Lake Placid Ironman

And I thought running a marathon was tough . . .

This past weekend, Joseph, Billy and I drove over 15 hours to get to Lake Placid, NY to watch my brother-in-law Ben complete his first Ironman. One word: incredible.

Ben is a stud. He finished in 10 hours and 51 minutes. And if you don't know what an Ironman entails, well, let me tell ya:

2.4 mile Swim
112 mile Bike
26.2 mile Run

I can barely do 1/3 of that. Ben you are amazing.

This was quite a "spur-of-the-moment" trip for the three of us. I didn't even think about going until about two weeks ago when we decided to make this work to go support Ben. Family first! And I am so glad we did, but it wasn't easy . . .

We left on Friday afternoon only to hit 2 1/2 hours of traffic out of Chicago. Rough start to the trip. Made our way through the boring state of Indiana and into Ohio where Billy drove through a monsoon of a storm. You are a champ, Billy.

Joseph took over somewhere in Ohio and drove all the way to some place in New York - about six hours later. Thanks for staying awake, when I wasn't. ;) This is where we decided to stop at Niagara Falls. Incredible at 3:00 A.M.- no one was there but us and the amazing sound of the falls. God is great!

My turn to drive . . . 3:30 A.M. We were off to Lake Placid (pit stop at Starbucks @ 5:00 A.M. - had to) only to get onto a twisty-turny highway that eventually led us into Lake Placid at about 9:00-10:00 A.M with a million people running, walking or biking on the roads. Had some good laughs in the car with my driving and us on no sleep. ;) But, finally, we got there. And boy, was that place amazing. Thank you mom and dad Snare for getting this place . . .

Once we got there, we settled in and then went into the main part of town so Ben could drop off his stuff for the race. And then walked around the shops, and got another Starbucks to get me rollin' for the day.

From there we went Bobsledding - check out the pics:

Really neat to go down the same course they did 20 years ago for the 1980 Winter Olympics. We got the best time of the day - Gold Medal for us:

Next Morning: Sunday --- day of the race. Here we go . . .

Swimming: Let me tell ya, if I was in that chaotic mess, I would drown. Check it out:

And of course, Ben did amazing, coming out of the swim in about 57 minutes. Really?!

We went to an area to see Ben on his second loop of the Bike where Billy dressed up in his "Tour de France" outfit and it was quite a hit, he even got Ben to smile . . .

Running: I know how rough Running can be, but I can't image running a MARATHON after swimming and biking! I can barely finish a marathon by itself. Ben = Rockstar.

Side Note:

This is Jocelyn. She is an upcoming pro and stayed in the house with us. She is great and was always smiling. The best part - she has those Starbucks Frappuccino drinks in her camel pack. No joke. How awesome is that. I would vomit if I drank that on my run:

This is Ryan from the Bachelorette, Trista's husband. Lindsay and I got a kick out of seeing him and Trista:

End: 10 hours and 51 minutes later, Ben crossed the finish line. Amazing. Glad I got this shot. You came out of no where . . .

Ben, we are super proud of you. This is quite the achievement that not many people can say they have accomplished. You are probably one of the most determined, dedicated individuals that I know. Your desire to achieve these types of goals have not only encouraged me to push myself but others as well. You truly deserve this and you should be extremely proud of yourself. Amazing to see how God has given you the ability and talents to accomplish an Ironman. You just finished an IRONMAN, now go brag. . . eat a lot. . . and get some rest! . . . . I am a proud Sister.

The crew:

Love this:

Proud Mama and her artistic skills:

** Pictures from Ben and Karen Snare. Check out Ben's FB page for more pics.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cold Day. Downtown Chicago. Us.

A few months back, our good friend and my co-worker Nathan Gomez took some pics of Joseph and I in the city. It was freezing but we had a blast being our goofy selves. He also made us look good. Check a few of them out, y'allz . . .



And the dance session begins . . .

One word: Cold

There are more. I'll post them to FB or something.