I Run for…

peace of mind, that “runner’s high”, my love for the outdoors, fitness…the list goes on and on.

Today is national running day and I fully intend to hit the pavement after work today to get in a few miles.  I also thought I would share a little bit of my running story.

It all started in elementary school, when I would race all the boys at recess.  Yes, I was that girl who would challenge the boys to race…and usually beat them all.  I was also that girl that hit her growth spurt early, so I had a little bit of a leg length advantage. So, you could say I have always loved to run.

In middle school I ran cross country and track, but always enjoyed being out on the cross country course or running though neighborhoods for practice rather than on the track.  The track stressed me out.

In high school I ran track during my freshman and sophomore years.  I would always run the starting leg or anchor leg of the 4 x 800.  I also ran the open 400 and occasionally ran the 4 x 400.  I was definitely a middle distance track runner.  My sophomore year I joined the cross country team and remained on the team through my Senior year.  Again I say, there was just something about being on the trails or running in the neighborhoods around our high school.

During college my running pretty much took a back seat..that was until my friend Hawley and I decided to train for a half marathon.  We would hit the sidewalks of Athens or go to the botanical garden and run the trails…it was so much fun and a great way to form a friendship.  Unfortunately, I injured myself (stress fracture in the hip) just before the half and had to cheer Hawley on from the sidelines.  She did amazing and I was so proud of her..and so thankful we were able to bond through our training.

Post college, running has been a semi-constant in my life.  I don’t run every day..and I definitely have periods of time that I don’t run at all.  However, I always find that I am happier with life if I am running a few times a week.  I don’t necessarily have a goal I am aiming towards, I just get out there for my health and well being.  I’ll do a fun run 5k here and there, but nothing competitive.  Sure, I would love to run a half marathon some day…and heck, maybe even a full…but right now I am satisfied for running for me, for my health, for my happiness, for my peace of mind, and so much more.

Some pictures from the past year of running:


Franklin Classic 5K with Mom

Trail running - challenging but beautiful.

Trail running – challenging but beautiful.

My running shoes when they were brand new - they look nothing like this anymore.  In fact, it's probably time for a new pair.

My running shoes when they were brand new – they look nothing like this anymore. In fact, it’s probably time for a new pair.

Before and After: Bridge to Bridge 4 miler.  1 bridge per mile, love this tradition with mom!

Before and After: Bridge to Bridge 4 miler. 1 bridge per mile, love this tradition with mom!

Morning run down my street.  Country running is the best!

Morning run down my street. Country running is the best!

Edwin Warner Park - where I ran cross country meets in middle and high school.

Edwin Warner Park – where I ran cross country meets in middle and high school.

Friday Letters

Dear Tennessee, It has been a year since we moved back and you have not disappointed.  I am LOVING your cool September mornings.  The picture above captures your morning beauty wonderfully.  Looking forward to all the beautiful colors this fall.  You’ll be able to find us cruising the Trace.

Dear girlfriends, It was so so SO good to see you all this past weekend and celebrate Jacklyn and Ryan’s marriage together.  Loved that we were all at the same table sharing laughs, smiles, and good conversation (of course).  You all filled my heart with joy.  My cup runeth over!

Dear Language and Literacy Acquisition, I am absolutely LOVING all the new material I am learning.  So long overwhelming feelings – I’ve got this!  I’ve learned so much about writing in 3 short weeks and I’m excited to learn everything else you have in store for me.  Such a good feeling to know I’m headed down the right path!

Dear momma, Thanks for agreeing to run the Franklin Classic 5k with me.  It was quite a humid Labor Day morning and I had a great time running along side you.  Looking forward to a few more this year.  Let’s finish the fall strong.  Goal: 1 race per month. Our pre-race picture is below. Love you!

Happy weekend, everyone!  I have just a few plans this weekend.  They include fingerprinting for school, going to see NPR’s “Says You” with a small group, a birthday party, and if I can convince Joshua – I want to go to the Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church,

What are YOU up to this weekend?


Back to School: Bag Edition

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m headed back to school next week.  A new school year always makes me nostalgic for the days of shopping for new school clothes, a new backpack, and all of those school supplies teachers required you had.  While I’m sure I will be doing a little bit of buying for school supplies (I’ve already bought 3 books for my first class), I won’t be making any big purchases.  No new school wardrobe or backpack.  I’ll be sticking to the basics and a budget.

BUT, if I could get a new school bag here are a few I would LOVE.

1) Everlane’s Classic Tote

This bag is only $30, which is part of the reason I love it so much. It’s practical, has a great leather strap..and is only THIRTY DOLLARS. If you haven’t checked them out yet, head over to Everlane for a few other staple pieces at a low price.

2) L.L. Bean’s Custom Boat and Tote Bag

The greatest thing about this bag is the customizable aspect.  You can pick the size, the length of the straps, and the color of the bag and straps.  You can add a zip top to keep everything inside, a little pocket on the front, and if your heart desires, you can even get it monogrammed.

I like the traditional canvas color with a bright green strap.

3) Wanting something a little more high end?

I love the new Legacy Collection from Coach.  You can get the Candace Carryall is pretty much any color, but I just love something about the traditional tan.

Contemporary Art, Southern Flair

Have you seen the work of Dolan Geiman?  I’m pretty sure he was at the Fort Worth Art Fair when we went a few years back.  He is definitely a mixed media artist, but has some really fresh paintings, too.  His tag is “Contemporary Art with a Southern Accent” and I definitely think he does a great job of capturing rural life in a cool, contemporary way.

Here are a few of my favorites:


Large Elk


These guitars are made to order. So cool, right?

You can order work through Dolan’s Etsy shop.  Go check him out.  I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love.

Around the Web Wednesday

Here’s what I’ve been loving this week:

1) Teacup Candle tutorial on Cupcakes and Cashmere

Elegant, right?

2) Herb Vinaigrette Recipe from Cuisine du Monde

I’ve been craving fresh food a lot lately and I had a really great Cobb Salad from Panera earlier this week.  Well, I was craving another salad with a light dressing for last night’s dinner and this dressing did the trick!  It was so tasty and light.  I sat down with a big bowl of salad had that “I’m so proud of myself” moment because it tasted that good.

The Panera salad that got it all started.

3) I love a good public arts project and Honestly WTF posted a really cool Brazilian project for phone booths.

Who wouldn’t want to make a call from inside a disco ball? (Photos from Call Parade website)

This one reminds me of a 3D Kandinsky…or even Dr. Seuss

They are all pretty amazing.  Check out the others here.

4) Still in love with this DIY Bride Kit from Oh Happy Day

The great thing about this tutorial is you can really manipulate it for other occasions.  You would have to create the wording for the box, but it’s definitely adaptable for other occasions.

I actually did a little bachelorette box based on the above box for a friend and it twas a big hit. (Post to come on that soon)

A little green goes a long way

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately and I think it stems from not spending enough time outside.  I’ve been neglecting my workouts or choosing to workout at the gym instead of outside.  I find joy in being outside.  I love being in God’s creation and I’m almost always in a better mood after taking a walk or run.  Even a drive through the country lifts my spirits. I put an end to that lack of outdoor activity yesterday.  The above pictures is a view of the field next door before I left for work.  Beautiful, right?  I love walking to my car and seeing that pretty long grass every morning.  It’s great.

Stairs at Percy Warner Park. I have fond (or not so fond) memories of track trips to those stairs during high school. We were forced to run them, suicide style. Trust me…it was hard, and I was in super shape at the time!

After work I met up with a friend and ran through Percy Warner.  We stayed on the road and hit some awesomely steep hills, but it really helped me re-energize and renew focus on health and fitness.  So thankful for accountability of a friend to keep me motivated.  Sometimes I find it hard to stay committed on my own.  I need someone there beside me to keep me going and push me to work harder…or even to workout at all.

I think part of this funk is also related to my spiritual life.  I haven’t been very committed to reading the Word or to prayer.  Prayer and the Bible are essential to a good relationship with Christ, and I haven’t been as devoted to that relationship as I would like to be.  I need to find a good independent study to do.  I want to dive deeper into the Bible.  Any suggestions?

Finger Painting

Emailed to me by by dear friend Hawley, a co-art lover! From Bored Panda

This morning, while sifting through my inbox, I ran across an email from a good friend.  Hawley and I went to Georgia together and bonded over art (we were in class together), our desire to run a 1/2 marathon, and our love for God.  I was expecting the email to have something to do with her new-born baby girl, Zoe (whom she welcomed to the world yesterday!) and found a link to this amazing artwork instead.

Seeing the above piece of art, what would you say the medium is?  Would you think ink, paint and brush?  Would you be surprised to hear that this entire work was done by hand?  And by hand…I mean the artist uses her fingers to create art.  No brushes, no pencils…her fingers.

Judith Braun is the artist of this massive piece.  She dips her fingers in charcoal dust and then goes to town creating masterpieces like the one above.

See more of her work on her website and check out the article over on Bored Panda.  Much of her other work is a bit more abstract, with beautiful patterns created from her charcoal fingerprints. Her bio story is quite fascinating, so check that out too!

Her work pushes me to be creative, think outside the box.  I do love to create, but sometimes I feel stifled and stuck on trying to perfect painting or drawing..which leads to not creating at all, as I get frustrated before I even start.  So, thanks for sharing Hawley, and thank you for inspiring me!  Be sure to kiss new little Zoe lots for me (and Eden too!).