Sunday, June 30, 2013

We took on the challenge... and we conquered it!

Pre-race pic of Jessica and me... cool as cucumbers!

This weekend has been a fun one!  My friend, Jessica, came up from Little Rock and visited us for a couple of nights.  We ran a 10k together (my first).  It was the Cancer Challenge 10k in Bentonville.  Although I swore to myself and a few lucky people who got to listen that I'd never train for and run a race in the middle of summer again, the actual race weather turned out as perfect as we could hope and it was a fun event for a good cause. 

I don't know Bentonville that well, but the parts I have been in have been relatively flat.  That being said, the course for this race hillier than I expected.  But I still made it... though at times I did ask myself why I was doing this!  (I think I do this at every race.)  My fastest pace before this race was 9:50/mile at the Hogeye Marathon Relay, so I was hoping to do that or better.  I ended up really surprising myself and going faster than expected.  I ran a 9:00/mile which I never thought I'd do!  I finished 10th in my age group, which I was pleased with. 

But the group of people running in this race were very fast!  The overall winner in this race ran a 5:21/mile.  Can you imagine?!  The person who finished in the middle of the 256 runners (so finisher #128) ran a 9:29/mile.  That is FAST people!  It was crazy.  I think this group of people were the most serious 10kers ever.  Regardless, it was fun.  After we finished running, they had a nice station set up at the finish line with water, Gatorade, Redbull, cold towels to put around your neck, and every kind of fruit you can imagine.  Then, at the pavilion where they had the medals ceremony, they had all kinds of free goodies: cookies, rice krispie treats, slim jims, cheese sticks, crunch n' munch, juice, water, delicious smoothies, etc.  Jessica and I hung out a little too long before heading over there, though, so most of that stuff was already gone.  But we still got a few things.  

It was one of the nicest races I've been to in terms of the goodie bag you get for registering (it had a nice freezer bag you can put stuff in to transport from the grocery store to your home or elsewhere; a t-shirt; a hat; lots of snacks and candies; and miscellaneous samples of antacids, band-aids, neon masking tape, etc.), as well as all the freebies at the race.  Although it took us a while to find out how to get there with so many roads blocked off, it was pretty well organized once it got started, with 4 water stations (for a 6.2 mile race) and signs at every mile you go and every turn you have to take.  Overall, it was a fun experience and I would recommend this 10k to anyone interested in running one next year.          

Post-race sweaty pic with Strike, the Naturals' mascot

Friday, May 17, 2013

How Pinteresting!

I have seen several articles lately about Pinterest making women feel bad about themselves... about their lack of craftiness, good cooking, or clean/organized house.  I can certainly see how that could happen if you think you should do everything there is on Pinterest (how overwhelming that would be!).  

Realistically, I know my house is probably not going to ever be as clean/organized as some of the ones pictured on Pinterest.  However, I have personally found Pinterest to be the most valuable in my life for creative gift ideas and (mostly) yummy meal recipes.  In this post, I'll share some of the things I've made recently as a result of ideas I got from Pinterest.

For Mother's Day, I made my mom some cinnamon sugar pecans (because nuts are one of her favorite snack foods).  She really liked them!  

Due to subtle hints, we made Dustin's mom this flower pot for Mother's Day.  It has Graham's feet on it as the wings of the butterfly.  That was an interesting experience. 

 Finally, for teacher appreciation gifts, I put together these gifts which included beach towels, little activity books (like Sudoku/puzzles), candy the teachers indicated they like, and mini sunscreens all wrapped up in a bow.  I think they liked their gifts too! 

While websites like Pinterest and Facebook have been taking a lot of slack for creating unrealistic images of what our lives should look like, they aren't all bad.  They can help creativity-impaired people (like me) brighten others' lives and that's something I'm thankful for!  


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Releasing Your Wild Side Hurts!

If you're my Facebook friend, you already know that I participated in and finished the Primal Challenge Race recently.  Sound scary?  It should!  Having "challenge" in the name of the race is quite fitting.  This probably doesn't mean much considering how little experience I have with races now (this was my third), but this was by far the physically most challenging thing I've ever done!  

It involved 4 miles of running with 15+ obstacles in between.  The obstacles ranged from running through deep muddy ponds, taking a tightrope over another scummy looking pond you do not want to fall into, army crawling under "barb wire," climbing/jumping over tall walls, climbing ropes to hit the bell at the top, monkey bars, and more!  It was definitely tiring. 

It took me 1:23:10.8 to complete the course.  I placed 13 out of 35 individual women (as opposed to teams) in my age range (20-29), which I think  is pretty good considering I'm on the older end of that age range!  I placed 32 out of 99 individual female participants and 131 out of 261 overall individuals (so I guess the men whooped me).  Again, I'm no speed demon but my main goal was to just finish the race so I was pleased with where my time ended up!  

I was very sore the next day and hurt my shoulder coming down from one of the big walls, but I am slowly recuperating and hoping that my shoulder will heal completely on its own.  Some battle wounds a few days later:

And a special treat for those who spend the time to read my blog.  It looks kind of like art, if you ask me.  Enjoy:

Picture 1

Picture 2

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hitting Close To Home

Very recently, I ran the Hogeye 4-person relay marathon.  This was a much larger and more formal race than my first race, the Poker Run.  That made me nervous, but also very excited.  I ran the second leg, which was 6 miles.  I ran at a 9:50 pace and was ranked #9 out of the 33 other women relay runners on my leg.  My team was ranked #7 out of 33 and we were very happy about that.  We weren't running to be competitive and win first place so we thought that was very good!  It was only my second race and first relay and I really enjoyed it!  Something about having teammates who cheer you on was really motivating to me.  I even got my first race medal, which I was so excited about!  Here are some pictures from the race:

Me and my teammates cool and smiling pre-race.

My medal; pretty cool!

After I ran my leg, I went to cheer on my sister as she was finishing the 3rd leg and then went to the finish line to cheer on my teammate, Holly, as she was finishing her leg.  That being said, like so many others, I was shocked and saddened to see and hear what happened at the Boston Marathon.

It hit close to home because that's exactly where I was standing at the Hogeye Marathon.  I stood at the fun finish line with dance music bumping, people dancing and cheering, and food and drinks flowing, waiting to cheer on my teammate and take pictures of her as she crossed the finish line.  It was so much fun and not once was I concerned about danger.  I'm sure that's somewhat like the Boston Marathon finish line was.  

I am so happy that law enforcement tracked down the suspects and hopeful that the second suspect will recover and we will find out more information about their motives and use that information to do what we can to help prevent future events like this.  

Like others, I was glad to see the good side of humanity come out during this time as well.  The first responders and civilians helping the injured, and the nation pulling together to support Boston, were inspiring.  I am still praying for all those impacted in Boston (as well as West, Texas).   

My friend, Mandy, made this statement on Facebook and I thought it summed up nicely some of what I was thinking during this time as well:

"I saw a comment today that said that all people are born good. It's a nice thought, though not entirely accurate. True all people are born with the ability to do good, but with the propensity toward evil. Not that all people will become crazed killers, but even my 17 mo old will demonstrate an understanding that he is not supposed to do something and does it anyway. We all intentionally or unintentionally hurt others in a variety of ways, act selfishly more times that we would probably care to admit, and under the right circumstances can snap out of fear, anger, frustration, and desperation. This comment, while it is a nice thought, causes me to reflect on what is good about me and what are traits or behaviors that are not. Upon this reflection, I become evermore grateful for the grace and mercy shown to me by God and forces me to acknowledge that really and truly the only good things about are because of and from God himself."     

Next post, I'll catch you up on the Primal Challenge, which I ran this weekend.  "No pain, no gain" should be the motto of this race!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Running the Race

"And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us..." - Hebrews 12:1(b)

It's been a long time coming, but I finally ran my first 5k... the whole thing!  My friend, Jessica, came up from Little Rock to run with me and it was so much fun to hang out with her and run together.  Here's a picture of us before the race.

The race we ran is called the Poker Run.  Each kilometer you run, you get a playing card.  At the end, the person with the best poker hand wins a grand prize and the person with the worst poker hand also wins a prize.  Guess who had the worst poker hand out of all the runners?  This girl (they wrote our hands out on a card at the end)!  I had 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 of different suits... pretty impressively awful hand if you ask me!

The weather was cold, but once I started running, it was perfect!  I was surprised to have a whole cheering section at the finish line!  My mom, Graham, my sister Lori, and my nieces Maggie and Marin were all cheering for me and it definitely gave me the energy to finish the last uphill stretch strong!  My nieces even made the sweetest signs that said "You are the best!" and "Go Aunt Lyndsey!" I LOVED their signs; here's a picture of me running that last uphill stretch and then holding the signs afterward:

Because the race was more laidback, there wasn't official timing, but I made it across the finish line in around 28-29 minutes.  My cheering squad got there right before the race began, so they saw all the finishers and told me I was somewhere around the 3rd female and 6th personal overall to cross the finish line.  Not too shabby for my first 5k! 

They also gave out door prizes and Jessica won one of those!  Us with our glasses and prizes:

There were a bunch of prizes you could choose from. Free unlimited tanning for a month, a gift bag from the natural food store, a shirt and sunglasses from a boutique, restaurant gift cards. I chose 4 Naturals tickets. I get to choose the game I want to go to!


Jessica won her door prize later so there wasn't as much to choose from, but she got a nifty gift bag from the natural food store.  It had tons of stuff in it!  
Afterward, we celebrated with drinks and pizza.  All in all, I had a great time and would even say it was fun!  Considering that I've always said I don't like running, the fact that I enjoyed this was a surprise to me!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I think becoming a mom has made me much more sentimental.  The time going by so fast and Graham growing up so quickly has just blown my mind.  Though I know I'm bound to, I don't want to forget the little things about Graham as a baby.  There are many way to remember these things.  I have been filling out a baby book for Graham and a Mom's One Line A Day journal (the one my friend, Lydia, gave to me, I mentioned a couple of blogs back).  I also write notes to Graham every once in a while for him to read when he's older. 

A friend, Sarah, mentioned a scrapbooking software called My Memories Suite Software.  Just like her, I'm not much of a scrapbooker, but you can make labels, cards and probably much more with the software.  Now I could definitely use it for those things!  Anyway, she is having a giveaway on her blog where you can win the software.  So exciting!  If you are interested in scrapbooking or making creative/crafty things, definitely check her blog out.   

I know I have a lot of crafty friends that might be interested in this software, so I thought I'd share this opportunity with you all!  

Until next time, 

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Crafty Valentine

For this Valentine's Day, Graham and I made some gifts.  First, we made some "long-distance hugs" to send to the grandparents and great-grandparents.  Here is a picture of one of those hugs: 

We simply took Graham's handprints and cut around them, measured and cut ribbon out the length of his arm-span, and taped the ribbon to the handprints.  Though the painting part was a little messy, that was my own fault.  I blame lack of experience; I have since gained valuable tips on how to get a less messy handprint experience in the future. 

For Dustin, I made a root beer float kit (because he likes root beer... and ice cream, of course!).  It included a homemade card, root beer, ice cream, glasses, an ice cream scoop, some cute Valentines straws, and a cute card that said "Valentine, You float my boat."  Here are some pictures: 

I think he liked it!  I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day!     

Until next time, 


Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Best Valentine!

"We sometimes fear to bring our troubles to God, because they must seem so small to Him who sitteth on the circle of the earth.  But if they are large enough to vex and endanger our welfare, they are large enough to touch His heart of love.  For love does not measure by a merchant's scale, nor with a surveyor's chain.  It hat a delicacy which is unknown in any handling of material substances."  -- Torrey 

No matter where you find yourself this Valentine's Day, ... single, looking, dating, engaged, married, there is one thing we can all rejoice in: we have all already been given the best, most complete, most fulfilling love there is (whether we choose to accept it and return it or not): God's love.  

Don't get me wrong, human love is an amazing and wonderful thing.  As Henry Ward Beecher put it, "Love is the medicine of all moral evil.  By it the world is to be cured of sin.  Love is the wine of existence... No man can afford to invest his being in anything lower than faith, hope, love - these three, the greatest of which is love."  But no matter how much you love someone else or they love you, in the end we are all just human and, by extension, imperfect.  We can be kind, we can be selfish, we can comfort one another, we can hurt one another (intentionally or not), we can have great days and not-as-great days.  In other words, no matter the goodness of the person or intentions, if you are looking for a perfect love in humans or anything on this earth, you will always be let down in the end.  It doesn't take much living life to realize this.     

But this love that I spoke of earlier, this love that God offers us, is a pure, a perfect, and a complete love.  A verse that many of you have probably heard before describes this love, "Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails."  - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a  Further, if we wonder how God factors into the love equation, the answer has been made clear: "God is love." - 1 John 4:16

What has God done to show His love to us?  Where is the action behind these words?  "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."  - John 3:16 

This statement involves unbelievably huge sacrifice and is, to those who believe in it, literally one that transforms.  "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"  - 2 Corinthians 5:17 

At one point in my life, before I became a "new creation" in Christ, I was certainly in bondage.  I was seeking happiness in this life through many different things, including people and relationships.  And yet, I still felt there was something missing... a hole that had yet to be filled.  When I chose to accept God's love instead of avoiding it and seeking happiness elsewhere, it undoubtedly and forever changed me... in a good way.  The Bible says that in that moment, we are no longer "slaves to sin," but instead have been freed from that bondage.  (Romans 6:6-7).  And what amazing feeling it is to be free! 

On this Valentine's Day, I not only hope you've experienced this freedom, but I hope you know this amazing, life-changing love.  Happy Valentine's Day, friends!  

Monday, February 11, 2013

On a lighter note...

This week, the Kelly Moore Bag website is having 5 days of giveaways on their blog.  These giveaways include: a Kelly Moore bag of choice ($249 value!), The Lightroom 4 Preset System: from SLRLounge, Floral Alphabet Garland: from Pressed Cotton, Mercury Votives: from Pressed Cotton, and Nikon Coolpix Camera from Adorama.  Can you say wow?!  Not only that, but on Friday, they will have their grand giveaway... and includes a $1000 Visa gift card! 

Interested in any of these giveaways??  Go here to enter.  Good luck everyone!

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Friendship is a wonderful, and sometimes mysterious, thing to me.  It is something to be honored, something to be cherished, something to be cultivated, and something to be invested in.  This post is mostly my ramblings about friendship, so excuse my stream-of-consciousness.   

I've wondered many times why it used to be so easy to make new friends when I was a child as opposed to now.  I have a specific friend from junior high that I remember flat out saying, "Hey!  We have all our classes together.  We should probably be friends, don't you think?" and she ended up being one of the people I've been closest to in my life.  It was that easy!  Of course, we ended up having a lot in common so that helped, but we just accepted each other the way we were, learned about the other person, supported and had fun with the other person, cheered each other on in our accomplishments and cried together when we were sad.  Maybe it's just me, but it seems like it's not that easy now. 


"False friendship, like the ivy, decays and ruins the wall it embraces; but true friendship gives new life and animation to the object it supports."  - Burton

As is expected in the process of growing up, I have since been through many things, including some friendships that really hurt me... friendships that caused me to be more cautious about opening up, being vulnerable, and allowing myself to grow close to people.  I am a work in progress in that area... so that, surely, is part of the problem, though how much of the problem it is, I am not sure.  


"Friendship is, strictly speaking, reciprocal benevolence, while inclines each party to be solicitous for the welfare of the other as for his own.  This equality of affection is created and preserved by a similarity of disposition and manners."  - Plato

Because of my difficulty in making new friends who I am truly close to, I have learned to truly treasure my "old" friends.  How amazing they are!  Unlike some friendships which, as I assume is somewhat normal, have slowly grown apart, these few "old" friends of mine have managed to stay in my life, have been intentional to stay in touch, even in the business of the lives we lead, and have always been there for me as I endeavor to be for them.  I am so blessed by them! 

One quick example,... today I received a surprise package in the mail from my good friend, Lydia.  She sent me a really cool little book that I can write down daily notes/thoughts about motherhood in.  No, it's not my birthday; it's obviously not Christmas; she really had no reason at all to send me such a sweet present... but she did.

I cannot tell you how much this small token meant to me.  The feeling it gave me made me wonder why I don't do this for my friends more often!  Even so, I hope I do and say enough so that they know how much they mean to me.   


"The only way to have a friend is to be one." - Emerson

How true is that?  It definitely makes me look at my own behavior and ask, "Would I want to be friends with myself?"  This is something I want to continually ask myself and be intentional about.  

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."  - Proverbs 17:17 (NIV) 

This is the type of friend I want to be.  One who is always there for my friends, through thick and thin, one who provides honest advice when asked for it, one who listens when that is all that is needed, one who gets the inside jokes when laughter is the best medicine, and a shoulder to cry on during hard times, among other things.  

Do you have a hard time making new close friends or do you find it comes natural to you?  What valuable lessons have you learned about friendship over the years?  In what ways do you think you could be a better friend?   

Monday, January 21, 2013

Catching Up

Man, how time flies!  It's been too long since my last blog post.  I have a couple of quick updates. 

First, I wanted to post about one more Christmas present I made.  I finally gave them to all the recipients so I can post about it now!  I made some jersey knit bracelets for good friends of mine.  Here is what they look like:

I got a very exciting package in the mail recently.  My fantasy football trophy!!!  I won first place in my league in case you were wondering. : ) I wonder if there is a way to engrave my name in the trophy so that all future recipients know who the first winner of the trophy was. 

Also, my good friend, Lydia, and her baby girl, Isabelle, came up to visit Graham and me from Fort Smith.  We had so much fun!   We played with Graham's toys.  He was VERY territorial.  Normally, he is not that bad, but I guess it's because he's not used to sharing his own toys in his own house.  Either way, Isabelle was so sweet and laid back that she didn't seem to mind Graham grabbing her toys at all. 

Lydia and I also went to see our house which is under construction.  It was looking good!  I gave her a short tour since it was pretty chilly out and the kids were hungry and tired. 

Then we went to eat lunch together.  I had such a good time catching up with her and seeing Isabelle!  They are such blessings in my life, even if I don't get to see them as often as I'd like.  I'd like to make a point to go visit them next time and make that sooner rather than later.  Here are some pictures from our visit together: