Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Best Time of Year

Is, without a doubt, fall.

I'm totally stealing Tara's post over at Dashing in Pearls, so go check out her post.

Here's what I love about fall.




Okay, so maybe that food isn't specific to fall, but I had to post it.

AND, of course....

Gilmore Girls Season One.  It was only the greatest show ever on television.

What about you?  What's your favorite season?  Are you ready for fall??

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lately a List

1.  Justin and I have been running.  We are still following the couch to 5k plan.  Currently we just started week 5.  I'm always nervous about a new week, and yet I'm always able to do run it.  Even if I am super slow.

2.  I have to find ways to inspire myself to keep running.  I liked this saying/picture:

3.  Grad school started this week with orientation.  Yesterday I had a short, hour long general orientation about the graduate school in the School of Ed.  Tomorrow I have orientation specific to Learning Sciences from 10-5.  I'm super excited/anxious about it all.  I'm very ready for classes to start.  Go Hoosiers! :)

4.  I am obsessed with Pinterest.  I mean, more than Facebook or Twitter or any other type of social media.  It is amazing, and you should all get on Pinterest if you aren't already, and you should follow me! (Johanna Keene)

That's me!  

What about you?  

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Well, I'm writing this on my iPad using my awesome new keyboard that I just got for school! It's super cool, and it makes my iPad like a laptop, which is so much more useful for me. I just thought I'd brag for a second. However, that being said, I don't know how to put pictures on my blog from my iPad, so unfortunately this post won't have pictures. :( But it is more of a serious post, so perhaps pictures aren't necessary.

Lately, I've been super anxious about school starting. For those of you who don't know, I've taught fourth grade for the past four years now. Pretty fun stuff. However, the last few years I've felt more and more restless in teaching, and I realized that I needed a change. After a lot of prayer and discussion I decided to go back to school for a master's degree. So, this year, I am going to be a full-time student and a part-time teacher. I'll be taking 12 hours (eek!) and working at my previous school for 15 hours a week.

While I am so excited about graduate school, and I know that going back is the right choice, I am very worried. I worry about the silliest things too. I'm paranoid about missing orientation, not knowing where to park, what to wear, impressing people, getting my student ID, getting my parking pass, and on and on and on and on...

I know that this is ridiculous. I know that I'm freaking out about nothing. I know that going back to school will be difficult, but not nearly as difficult as I am thinking it will be. And really, it all comes down to pride.

I'm concerned about all of these things because of me. I want to do well, I want to be impressive, I want to be well liked, I want to be remembered. Are you seeing a theme here? It's all about ME. And that is a problem. It needs to be all about God. I should desire to do well so that GOD gets the glory, not me. I have to trust Him and keep His glory the center of everything. Only then will I have the peace that passes all understanding.

So that's where I'm at. Trying to keep anxiety at bay, and loving God more and more every day.

Maybe I should pursue my master's in poetry...

Just kidding.

Your turn!
- Do you ever feel anxious and worried? What do you worry about?


Friday, August 19, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

Well, I haven't blogged in awhile... my apologies.  I haven't had a ton to say, and I've been super anxious about school, and therefore, have left you all hanging in suspense of what is going on in my life!!  I know- it was a terrible thing to do, and I'm so sorry.

So, today, I'm going to do Fill in the blank Friday!

Linking up with Tara!

1. My idea of pure perfection is Sugarbrown's chai tea latte and a good book.

2. Communication/Organization makes the world go 'round.

3. If it weren't for lack of space and money I'd probably have over 1,000 purses.

4.  Bloggers are so fun!  I need more blogs to follow.

5. If I had $9 I'd buy you Essie mochacino nail polish.

6. I'm glad it's Friday because I love lazy weekends!

7. Something I'm excited about is going to IU!

What are some of your blanks?

What are you doing this weekend?

What are your favorite blogs?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Vacation Part Two

So after being in Red River, NM for a week Justin, his family, and I all drove back to Lubbock.  We were only in Lubbock for a night, but we definitely made sure to get some Rosa's!  Oh it was delicious and so worth it.

The next morning Justin had to fly back to Indiana for work, so I was on my own.  I drove to Dallas to spend some time with my family.  It was great- I absolutely love my family so it was really nice to spend some time with them.

After a few days I drove to Midland for Stephanie Munsell's wedding!  It was so fun.  Everything went so smoothly, and she looked stunning.

I got there on Thursday, and we had Stephanie's lingerie shower and bachelorette party.  It was a blast!  I am good friends with most of the other bridesmaids, so it was super fun to see all of them and catch up.

Friday we got our nails done, hung out, and then had the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.  It was a very fun, relaxing day.

Saturday was THE DAY.  The wedding day!  We got our hair done, hung out at the church, ate some lunch, did our make-up, and then walked down the aisle.  The ceremony was absolutely beautiful and so God honoring.  Stephanie and Ryan have such a love and passion for the Lord, and it was great to see that reflected in the ceremony.  I could see Ryan throughout the ceremony, and he was just so focused and serious, yet so incredibly happy.  It was lovely.

The reception was really fun.  The food was so good, and it was fun to just hang out!

All in all, it was a fabulous wedding weekend!

Sunday morning I headed back to Dallas.  I got to see my best friend Carrie and her two sweet kiddos, which was really awesome.  I loved getting to spend just a little more time in Dallas.

Overall, it was such an awesome vacation.  I was glad to get home though, and sleep in my own bed.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Vacation Part One

Since I was on vacation for nearly a month, I'm breaking it up into a few parts for you so you don't get too overwhelmed.  You're welcome.

Every year my husband's family travels to Red River, NM for a week of fishing, hiking, and resting.  I must admit, I was very skeptical of this vacation plan when we first got married because it is totally opposite of how my family vacations, but I have loved these past few years in New Mexico.  It really is nice to get away with the goal of simply relaxing.

Red River, NM is at the very base of the Rocky Mountains in northern New Mexico.  We're not too far from Colorado when we're there.  It is really beautiful.  But New Mexico is in a severe drought.  So much so that the forest was closed.  We were still able to go and fish because we stay on private property that has its own lake and river.  It was really sad though to see the land so incredibly dry.

However, the fishing was great!!  This is what I caught on the very first day along with Heath, my brother-in-law, and his catch:

Pretty nice fish!  I use a spinning rod, and Heath, Justin, and Tommy (father-in-law) use fly rods.  Sometimes Tommy goes back to a spinning rod, but he is fly fishing more and more.

Then, on Monday, they stocked the lake.  Justin and I went down at around noon to fish, and by 3 pm I had caught about 25 fish, along with these bad boys that I kept:

Since we (well mainly I) were doing so well we continued to fish until the lake closed at 7 pm.  I ended up catching over 40 fish plus all of these:

Oh yeah, and Justin caught this:

But I caught all of these:

Basically it was the best day of fishing that any one in the family has ever had!  And my in-laws have been going for about 30 years.  I outfished them all.

I might be a little bit proud of myself.

Just a little bit.

The rest of the week was super fun.  We went to see Harry Potter 7 pt. 2 which I LOVED.  We also rode the chair lift, which was really pretty.

All in all, it was a great week.

Now it's your turn!

Do you prefer to be super busy on vacation or just relax?
- I really like both, but I guess if I had to choose one I like going new places and doing a lot.

Would you rather go to the mountains or the beach?
- Another tricky one, but I have to go with the mountains.  So beautiful.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

It's Been Too Long!

Vacation is finally over, and I am back home in Indiana.  I'm sorry I didn't post much at all on vacation, but I just didn't really think about it.  I had a fabulous time, and I'll post more about it these next few days or so.  I have pictures that I need to load on to my computer and all of that, and I'll include some of them on the blog.

The good news is that I only gained about 2 pounds during this, basically month long trip.  I was pleased because I definitely wasn't as able to eat as well as I have been lately.  It was a great trip, but I am starting to get ready to get in to my master's program!

Anyway, I will post again soon about part 1 of my trip.  Hopefully you haven't all disappeared!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Quick Update

I am writing this from my iPhone because there is no Internet where we stay in Red River, so please excuse any spelling or grammar mistakes!

Red River is beautiful right now. It just rained, so it's nice and cool. I ran this morning and felt great. I could definitely tell that I was at a higher altitude because it was harder to recover when I walked. But it wasn't impossible! I decided to go back to week one of the C25K plan, and that worked out wonderfully!

I probably won't post again until Sunday or so when I'm back in civilazation. :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Getting Closer

I weighed myself today, and I have lost... drum roll please... 15 pounds in the past two months!!  15 pounds!  I am so excited I could eat a cake.  Just kidding... kind of. :)

Exercising has definitely helped and made a huge difference, but I also think that writing down everything I eat and how many calories it has in it has made the biggest difference!  Justin and I have been cooking a lot from the New and Complete Weight Watcher's Cookbook.  So far they've been really good and easy to make.  I think they're pretty filling too, but Justin doesn't.  He eats multiple servings.

15 pounds down, 55 to go.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Altitude Changes and Vacation

First of all, a big THANKS to Tara for featuring me on her blog, Dashing in Pearls!  Go check her out!!

Next week we leave for Red River, NM, and I couldn't be more excited!  This is an annual trip that we take with Justin's family every year.  This is our last year to go in July; next year we are going in August.  It's a really relaxing trip.  We fish and hike, and basically do whatever we want!  The best part is that there's no television.  I happen to be rather addicted to TV, and I actually find it super nice to not have that option.  I'm super pumped to read some of my new running books and finish re-reading the seventh Harry Potter book!  I cannot WAIT until July 15.

So here's the deal though: Red River is at about 9,000 feet.  Bloomington is at about 800.  I don't want to lose any momentum with running, but I also don't want to have a heart attack.  I'm thinking that I'll be there for a few days and then go back to week one of C25k and just do three days of that.  Week One is run 60 seconds, walk 90 seconds, for 20 minutes.  I also plan on doing a lot of hiking, so I'll get in some good fitness there.

After New Mexico I am heading to Dallas and Midland for Stephanie's (red sunglasses in above picture) wedding.  I'm so very happy for her and really excited about her wedding because if it is anything like Stephanie it's going to be amazing!  But I am concerned about food- I know that we'll probably be eating out a fair amount, and I really want to stay on track with eating healthily.

So what are some tips you have for running at a different altitude and for making healthy choices about food when at a big celebration?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I'm in Week Two of the C25K plan, and I've already learned a lot about myself and running.  First of all, I do a lot better waking up "early" and running.  A couple of days when the weather was really nice I didn't go running until about 11 am, and I didn't feel very good.  I got too hot, even though the weather was nice, and I just didn't feel as strong as I do when I get up around 8 am.  I also think that when I sleep as late as I want to I feel groggy when I do get up, and that makes running more difficult.

I also have to eat something before I go.  Nothing big, but I need to have something in my stomach before I go.  I also have to drink a glass of water.  While I get the dogs up and going I eat and drink, and then I'm ready for my run!

I also prefer the gravelly shaded trail over the paved open trail.  Obviously the shaded trail is nice because it's, well, shaded!  I also really like running on the gravel as opposed to on pavement.  It's so nice to have both of those options so close to my house.  I can walk to both trails, and they're right by each other, so as I get farther into my training and closer to my half I can utilize both trails.  If I do both trails it's a total of about 10 miles.  That's really great for whenever I actually have the ability to run that much.

Now for my gear.  I can't tell you how much I love the C25K app.  If you have an iPhone or an iPod Touch and you want to do run, I highly recommend it.  I always run with my iPhone and use that app.  The makers of that app also have the Bridge to 10K as an app, so I already downloaded it!  It's been great to have.

I can't tell you how much I love my running shoes.  I wear Brooks Addiction 9 women's running shoes, and they are great.  I went to Bloomington Running Company, and while I was nervous about it, I got "custom fitted" for shoes.  I was worried that the shoes would end up being really expensive, but they weren't.  They were only $100.  If you want to run you must get good shoes, and I highly recommend going to a legit running store and getting fitted.

I run with a Camelback Delaney Plus water belt, and I am learning to love it.  It's pretty lightweight and breathes well, so I don't have too much added sweat because of it.  I am slower with it, by two minutes.  However, I have issues with hydration and sweat, so I have to have it.  Otherwise I will pass out.  And passing out is a whole lot worse than wearing a dorky water belt.  So, I've really gotten used to it, and it's comfortable.  I'm pretty sure I look ridiculous with it, but I don't care.  It's a necessity for me.  And Justin found it on sale online, Steep and Cheap I'm pretty sure, for about $20!  It retails for about $40.

These compression socks are supposed to get here tomorrow.  I'm pretty sure they are a really smart purchase.  I got them because some of my other running friends can't live without them, and my husband loves them after cycling.  I got these for about $20 a piece too, because Justin gets a discount because of the bike shop!  I love getting things for cheaper than retail.

Now I need to get a running visor and some sweatbands.  I sweat.  A lot.  I'm sure I look amazing after I run, what with my cheeks as red as a tomato, sweat running down my entire body, and my awesome camelback strapped to my waist.  And I've only gone 2 miles and walked half the time. :)  Oh well- genetics!  What can I do?

So, it's your turn!  What gear do you run with?  Anything I should add to my arsenal?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Battle of Good vs. Evil- Food.

Oh food.  How I love food.  But, I don't just love any kind of food.  I love high calorie, high fat, preservative filled food.  In other words, I love fast food.  Yep- I said it.  I love fast food.  I know, the meat isn't real, it's filled with all kinds of bad for you junk, etc. etc.  But let's just be honest.  It tastes good.  And I love it.

You know what infuriates me?  When I read blogs and books where people say that they have found healthy food that is just as good if not better than unhealthy food.  They'll talk about how they used to be "overweight", but then they found all of this yummy healthy food and now that's all they want to eat.  They can eat like, you know, a cup of food, and would you believe it, they're full!?!  Here's what I say- you have never actually been overweight.  At least not like some of us.  So stop pretending that you have found healthy food that tastes just as good and that you are always full.  I don't believe you.

Let's just be honest- fatty foods always taste better.  It's just a fact.  What those of us who truly are overweight have to do is change our food behavior.  We can't lie to ourselves and say that we actually like all of that healthy food better than unhealthy because it just leads to these awful feelings of deprivation.  It's just not good.  Instead, we have to change how we think about food itself.

Let me start by saying that this is all easy to say, and a lot harder to do.  But it's what I've been trying to do, and sometimes it helps.  Sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes I still give in and eat the unhealthy food.  But sometimes, I follow what I am trying to think and I have small victories.  So here's where I'm at.

I realized that I treat food as an emotional crutch rather than for survival.  I have a bad day at work, feel stressed, and what do I do?  I come home, refuse to cook, and eat something fatty and filling.  Does it help relieve that stress for a moment?  Absolutely.  But then more stress comes from feeling uncomfortable in my own skin.  Of always being nervous about the state of my heart and health.  That may sound a little dramatic, but it's true.  When you are actually overweight the fear of diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stroke, etc. all lurk in the deep recesses of your mind.  So, eating fatty foods might help in the short term but not the long term.  I also used food as a reward.  I'd have a good day at work, really feel like the kids are getting it or that I'm making a difference, and I'd come home wanting to have a great meal to celebrate.  And, just like the bad days, I'd have the same result.

So here's what I'm doing trying to do.  I'm trying to look at food as merely a means for survival.  I have to eat in order to survive.  That's it.  I don't have to eat to manage my mood.  I don't have to eat to commemorate a good day.  I can do other things instead.  Like buy a new pair of shoes.  Buy that cute shirt I've been eyeing.  Go to a movie (and avoid try to avoid the concessions).  You get the idea.  I'm trying to find other ways of rewarding myself rather than always using food.

And it is working.  Kind of.  It's definitely hardest when we go out to eat.  There are just so many amazing choices on those menus that it's realllllllly hard to choose the grilled, nearly flavorless fish/chicken dish and the steamed veggies.  So, we try to avoid going out to eat- which is great for our very limited budget.

So that's where I'm at.  I'd love know how you handle the difficult choices of eating; unless you weigh under 130 pounds and have never weighed over 150 pounds.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Oh what a day- and it's only noon!

What a day today has already been!  Justin had a day off (yay!) so we were going to FINALLY celebrate our four year anniversary by going to Lynn's Paradise Cafe in Louisville.

Justin went to Lynn's with his good friend Kevin after Kevin saw it on the Food Network.  I was pumped to finally eat there.  So we left at 10 am with very few calories already consumed and ready to enjoy a yummy, albeit unhealthy, lunch.  So about 30 minutes in to the drive, I noticed that the air conditioner wasn't really very cool.  Then I looked at the engine temperature gauge.  It was definitely way too hot.  We had to turn around, pull over to let the engine cool down, and then slowly make our way back to Bloomington.  We then picked up the truck and drove to the Honda dealership.  So frustrating!

I'm pretty sure it's our radiator that is busted.  What's extra irritating about that is the fact that this will be our third radiator in a year.  Yep, it's only been a year!  I'm pretty sure then that the people who replaced it the first two times will be paying yet again for another radiator.  UGH!  It's so frustrating that it makes me want to get a new vehicle.  But I don't know... I don't want to do anything rash, and I do love my car.  We'll just see.

Anyway, dinner was delicious last night, and filling!!  It was really easy to make, which is good because I'm not much a cook.  Justin was a big help too, and that of course made cooking a lot more fun.  I'm not sure if I can post the recipe or not since it's from a cookbook- I don't want to plagiarize.  I'll do some research and see if it's allowed or not.

So I'm wondering from you...

What would you do if your car had gone through 3 radiators in a year?

Have you ever had car trouble while on a vacation?

Any good, healthy recipe recommendations?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Books! (And this time with pictures!)

So I'm back on my laptop, and blogger has decided to let me post pictures again!  Wahoo!  Here are some of the books I'm reading to help me with my weight loss and running endeavors!

These are the running books:

And I also am trying to lose weight- about 70 total pounds to be exact!  I've already lost about 12, and I'm realllllllly trying to watch what I eat.  So I bought a couple of cookbooks to help!  

Tonight we are having Soft Tacos with Tilapia and Chile-Lime Mayonnaise!  If you think I'm excited... you are correct.  We'll see if they're any good.  


First, let me start by saying that I am typing this on my iPad, so please forgive any errors in spelling and grammar. That being said, here we go!

This week I've been faithful to stick to the Coach to 5K plan. I downloaded the FREE app C25K, and let me just tell you, it's awesome! I love that it tells you when to walk and when to run. I also invested the $0.99 for the GPS function. So now the app also tells me how far I've gone and my pace for walking and for running. It's really great! If you need something to help you I highly recommend downloading that app.

I've also bought some running books! I would post pictures of these books, but I can't figure out how to do it! Sorry!

Justin bought me Absolute Beginner's Guide to Half-Marathon Training. I've been reading it, and so far it's pretty good. I also bought Runner's World Complete Guide for Women's Running (I think that's what it's called) and The Non-Runner's Marathon Handbook (again, I think that's the title). I'm super pumped to read these. I'll keep you posted about them.

Hopefully I'll keep feeling good about running. I'm really worried about losing steam and giving up. I certainly don't want to, but I know how difficult running can be.

This is Just a Test

I'm trying a new app on my iPad, so this post is just a test. Thanks for your patience!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, June 19, 2011


And, once again, I'm behind in the blogging world.  So here's a quick update on where I'm at and what I've been up to.

I finished up my last year of teaching, at least as a full-time classroom teacher.  What a bittersweet time.  Summer came at long last, and to the great relief of both teachers and students alike.  However, it is sad to know that it was the end.

Sidenote: My junior year AP English teacher wouldn't allow us to use being verbs in our papers (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been) and therefore I cringe every single time I write one.  I just thought you should know that.

Anyway, my summer has been very relaxing so far!  I've decided to train for a half marathon.  My friend, Katie Hill, told me about the Disney Princess half marathon that takes place in February, and I think I'm going to do it!  I'm still at the very early stages, just starting the couch to 5k plan (again).  So if you are a runner let me know all of your secrets!!

I've also allowed myself to start to think about next school year- I've even come up with a potential schedule!  I'm really excited to get started on my master's program, but I want to be sure that I enjoy summer too.  Definitely a fine balance.  

So that's what I've been up to!  Sorry for, once again, not blogging for a few months.  

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My To-Do List

Hopefully read in the following order:

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

 My fellow teachers and principal!  Would you believe this picture was taken in April?  Because it was!
 My sweet, sleepy puppies sleeping on each other.
 Libby was EXHAUSTED after playing with Justin's mom all day long.
 Izzy being curious.  She's alway so curious.
 These are in my front yard.  I am obsessed with them!  Spring is such a great season.
My husband.  The cyclist husband.  The dirty cyclist husband.  The muddy dirty cyclist husband.