thirteen point one.

After crossing the finish line and receiving our medals. Kristina showing off her new bling, too! ūüôā

We did it! I can’t tell you how great it feels to have accomplished it and how thankful I am to have gotten through it all. While I didn’t reach my goal time of 2:10, I did run the entire race! Which was my number one goal in the first place. My second goal was missed by FOUR stinking minutes. Annoying. Yep, my official time was 2:14:27. Let me just tell you though, I went through every single emotional possible while running those thirteen miles. I’ll explain myself, while giving details about the race.

NERVOUS: At the starting line, my nerves were going crazy. I was excited that the day had finally approached, but I was so nervous of multiple disasters capable of happening. I was worried I wouldn’t beat my goal time (which I didn’t, but who cares). I was worried I’d suffer a major injury during the race (which I didn’t, whew!). I also worried I would need to stop and walk (which I didn’t! YAY!). But all in all, I had no reason to be nervous. I did what I originally went to do…and that was to finish the race.

ANNOYED: At mile 3.5 I got the beloved cramp in my side. Up until this point, all the friends I started the race with had stayed together. Once the cramp hit, I knew I needed to drop back a little and let the pain down before I pushed too hard and needed to stop. I was glad I did, because at about mile 4, it went away! The annoyance passed.

MOTIVATED: At mile 4, I was feeling pretty strong. I was keeping¬† right on track with my 10 minute mile pace and I was very motivated at this point to even try and pick it up a little. I actually felt this way until mile 7, when we entered Churchill Downs. Dun dun dun…

FRUSTRATED: As we entered the race track right after mile 7, I was feeling good. But as soon as we had to go through two separate tunnels (entrance and exit) that were extremely narrow, I was very frustrated. It didn’t bother me when we were out on the open road that people stopped to walk. But if you’re going to walk through the most narrow part of the coarse, look out for those still running and MOVE OVER. At one point I felt like I was jogging in place, because people were acting like they were out for their Sunday stroll. Eventually, I made it out of there and I was able to focus back on my time again and get away from people.

CONTENT: I was feeling really content from about mile 8 or 9 until close to 10.5 or so (you get kind of lost with mileage after so long). But again, I was keeping on track with my 10 minute miles. Once I reach close to mile 11, I could definetly tell I was slowing down to more of a 10:10 mile or somewhere around there. But I just kept telling myself it was almost over; I was almost done.

ANGRY: As I approached the final few miles, (I thought) up ahead I could see the finish line banner. It was a straight shot to what I saw, but I knew it was still kind of a ways off. I could tell it was a huge banner, and really, why would anyone else have a banner up on the race coarse? Well, it wasn’t the finish line, guys. It was a stupid beer banner. What the heck? After I passed that banner, I could see the mile marker for mile TWELVE. One more mile to go…

UPSET: Somewhere after I passed the mile twelve marker, I looked at my watch and knew that I was too far off from the finish line to beat my goal time of 2:10. I wanted to push harder so bad, but I felt like if I did, I would keel over and die. All these thoughts just rushed through my head like, “why didn’t I stay with my friends?”, “why did I get in that mess at the last water station and let it slow me down?”, “why can’t I pick up my pace right now?” I seriously thought if I didn’t see the finish line in a couple minutes, tears were going to stream down my face. I just wanted to be done.

EXCITED: And there it was! I turned a corner and I saw the finish line. I was only 3 minutes passed my goal time at this point, so I went into an all-out, full-out sprint (it probably didn’t look this way to bystanders, but it sure felt like a sprint – and I was definitely moving faster). My knees, my thighs, and my calves hurt so bad, but I didn’t care, I was just excited to see the finish line so close! After I crossed the finish line I heard my friend yell, “Jill! You did it! And Kristina just got engaged!” I had finished the half-marathon I spent the last 5 months training for and on top of THAT one of my best friends got engaged as she crossed the finish line. Her and her fiance ran the race with us too. It was quite an exciting moment for everyone.

RELIEF: It felt so good to be done. I was proud of myself for finishing and not walking at all. It really was an incredible feeling. The Lord gave me all the strength I needed to get through it and I am so thankful for that. I’m blessed to have had my husband there cheering me on and great friends to encourage me before and after the race.

But let me just put this out there now…as proud as I am, as good as it felt, and as much as I liked it (at moments), it will be my one and only half-marathon. I’m saying it now, so that if I ever get the idea of doing another one, you will smack me silly. This girl is a one hit wonder kinda runner.

Next up: Bowling Green Triathlon in August. Who’s with me?

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diy collage flowerpot.

Over the weekend I went to a bridal shower for a friend of mine and I made this collage flowerpot for her! I got¬†the idea¬†awhile back after¬†I saw a picture on a blog, only it was the person’s grandkids and I changed a few other small things about it. But I thought still, what a cute¬†idea for a newly married couple! So, I printed off pictures of the two of them and bought a plain clay flowerpot at the store. Then I taped the pictures and the initial “M”¬†to the pot and then added ‘mod podge’ on top to weatherize it a bit – so if it rained, the pictures wouldn’t get ruined. Then I painted the top part of the pot and the dish it sits¬†on black. I just used acrylic paint for that. Finally, I added a green polka-dot bow to give it some color (and if you can’t tell people, I’m not a professional bow tier, so cut me some slack). Green is her favorite color, so I thought that would be appropriate.¬†It¬†turned out better than I expected¬†and I’m very thankful for that, because I was a bit nervous when I was making it, that it wouldn’t turn out good. To add a little something extra, I placed black tissue paper in the bottom of the pot and stuck bamboo kitchen utensils all around it.

for the love of pizza.

Originally I¬†had no intention of¬†making¬†this delicious¬†homemade bacon-cheddar pizza in the shape of a heart, but it kind of just worked out that way. I was rolling out the dough and my circle was looking¬†more and more¬†pathetic; it started to make the shape of a heart. So, I went with it and made the edges more defined and pointed at the bottom.¬†It turned out tasting just as delicious as a normal circular pizza, just interesting size pieces when cut. I thought it was funny and my husband found it cute so I thought I’d share just for the fun of it. I’m quite proud.

Speaking of cooking…I had to share these pictures I just got from my sister from Christmas. My niece got a play kitchen and I am a newlywed and new to cooking, so we both received aprons. Isn’t she just the cutest?

insurance = empty out your pockets.

Can I just go on a rant right now? The top thing on my most disliked list right now is insurance. Every single time I have gone to a medical facility in the past year I have been told my insurance¬†would¬†do one thing and¬†each time, it’s been a complete lie. How can they sleep at night? Now come on, if they know from the beginning they’re only going to pay a certain amount, just tell me. I¬†can handle it. I’d rather know ahead of time, then think something is going to be¬†cheaper, but then get a big fat bill a week later.¬†Seriously, if I told someone I would give them $50 to clean my house and I only gave them $10, that’d be wrong. I’d be known as a crook. So why do insurance companies get away with it? I’m so aggravated (if ya can’t tell).¬†Recently, I had some dental work done and the office manager told me my insurance would be paying 80%. I got a bill yesterday in the mail saying I owed money when I had already paid the day of the procedure. Turns out, they only ended up paying 50%. It’s the most annoying thing in the world to me. If you’re going to promise something, go through with it! Needless to say, I got nowhere on the phone with people today, so I’ll be paying that bill. Isn’t being a big girl fun? You know it.

Rant: over.

fifteen fun and frugal dates.

Being young newlyweds, my husband and I try to pinch just about every penny we can. We like to have fun, we like to try new things, and we love adventures. We also know the importance of saving. We want to save as much as we can now, so we don’t have to worry about spending when we have (Lord willing) children. We have become very creative with dates; even before we were married, we would do random things for date nights and I loved it. I decided to come up with a list of¬†fifteen dates that we have found fun and cute/romantic, because really when you go on dates, it’s all about bonding. If you’re as frugal as we are, you’ll love these. As you can tell, we are very much outdoor people. So most of our dates are outdoors. Enjoy!

INDOORS:

1. Rent a movie ($1 section!), make dinner together and watch the movie while you eat. After dinner, make milkshakes.

2. Go to a local coffee house and bring (or sometime they have them there) a board game, such as scrabble or checkers. Split a drink to support the business.

3. (in the winter) Get a gingerbread house kit and build it together!

4. On the weekends, bars have local bands playing (no cover charge usually), go enjoy a show.

5. Get your parents to let you barrow home videos of the both of you growing up. Make a homemade pizza together and laugh the night away.

OUTDOORS:

6. Go play a game of tennis. Look at yard sales and/or thrift shops, I always see raquets there.

7. Find a near-by park with hiking trails. Go on an afternoon hike and pack a picnic lunch. Find a good spot to stop and eat.

8. Get the schedule for your local minor league baseball team and go to a game. Tickets are usually just $5-10. (bg hot rods are $7)

9. Kayak down a close-by¬†river (If you don’t own kayaks/conoes, you¬†probably know someone who does – ask around!).

10. Ride your bikes to the closest gas station, get a couple slurpees and head to the closest park to enjoy them.

11. During the warmer months, find an orchard in your area and spend the day trying different fruits there.

12. Go to the local humane society and walk the dogs and play with the cats.

13. There’s always¬†special deals and coupons at¬†Baskin Robins¬†– check them out,¬†take advantage, and enjoy some ice cream together!

14. Go camping. Most¬†state¬†parks don’t charge for¬†camping¬†and we bought a tent on sale during winter.

15. Drive out to the country and watch the sunset, then star gaze for awhile, enjoying a glass of wine Рif you are of-age!

There ya have it. I’ll try to add more blog posts about these as we come up with new ideas. Hopefully you found this somewhat¬†inspirational!

my new wheels.

I’m so excited to finally have a road bike. I have wanted one for so long! Chris got this for me a few days ago for a really good deal. We’ve been looking for about a month now and I’m so releaved to finally have it.

The thing I love most about having a bike, is that we live close enough to things that a short bike ride is all you need to get there. We live close to the grocery, the downtown area, and wku’s campus. It’s nice to have the¬†option of a bike¬†rather than sitting in traffic to go a short distance. So happy to have this!

faith and fruit.

Recently I was browsing through my twitter homepage and I came across this quote by Tim Keller posted by a fellow tweeter:

You are saved by faith, not fruit. But you will never be saved by fruitless faith. Real faith will inevitably lead to growth.

I’m not gonna lie, that’s quiet a tongue twister. But more than that, it’s an¬†incredibly true statement that we sometimes forget. I’m always amazed at the endless debates on faith vs. deeds, because¬†in my opinion, they must both be present in a person. It’s not one or the other. In the Bible, in the book of James it states: “faith without deeds is dead”. How could someone have the Holy Spirit present in them and not have the desire to serve others? And not just to serve for self-righteousness, but for the glory of the Lord. Again in James it says: “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith BY my works. See, the two can’t exist without one another. If you have never read the book of James, I highly encourage you to. It’s one of my favorite¬†books¬†and it has certainly¬†challenged me in my walk with Christ.

I really just wanted to share this quote, because it never hurts to hear this again, even if you’ve read the book of James many times.¬†Sometimes I tend to¬†get caught up more in the “to-do list” than the “to¬†lead others to Christ list” and it helps to be reminded of this. I love volunteering and helping others, but I need to remember WHY I’m doing these things and WHO the glory is for, not just to check off a list of accomplishments.