Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Things I'm Loving Tuesday...

These are just a few things I'm loving this Tuesday:

1. Banana Granola Peanut Butter - Sounds weird, right? WRONG. Thank you Kraft for your genius new flavors of PB. Jar was purchased Sunday. It's virtually gone. Delicious!

2. The Love Dare - I've decided to read this book as a 40 Day Marriage Challenge... Dare to Love. It's absolutely wonderful. And simple. Love is patient. Love is kind. The 2 pillars of Love... everything else flows out of those.

3. The Voice - It's getting down to the nitty gritty and it is SOOOOOOOOOOO good this year. Wow. There are 6 participants left and I can hardly stand how talented they are. And Adam Levine.

4. Eggnog Lattes - Starbucks, why must you make such delicious and terribly bad-for-you lattes? Tis' the season. Nothing tastes better to me than a sugary treat and an eggnog latte... it's like Christmas in a cup. I love it!

5. Corso 32 - My extremely wonderful and amazing Dinner Club went to Corso 32 last week. I cannot stop thinking about this meal. Every morsel that hit my lips was delicious. I wish I would've savoured it more. I must go back!

6. In the Flow Crop II - as mentioned in my previous post, these pants are THE BEST. NO OTHER WORKOUT PANTS WILL EVER GRACE MY BODY AGAIN. Well, this is not true because I only own 2 pairs and I work out 5 days/week... that could get gross. And smelly. BUT, if I could own 100 of these, that wouldn't be enough. They have revolutionized my fitness life. And dang, I feel good in them. Those good feelings transcend into my workouts and help me KILL IT at the gym. Thank you, Lululemon.

7. My Family - spending time with my ladies and Cam this holiday season has warmed my heart immensely. Lately, I think they're contagious. The more time I spend with those 3, the more time I want to. That's a great feeling.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Birthday/Christmas Wish List ...

I did this last year and actually had a lot of fun! So, I thought a happy, joyful post is just what the doctor ordered! Tis the season to be jolly... and of course to give, but there's nothing selfish about making a wish list, right? RIGHT?

In no particular order:

Fleecy Keen Jacket - Lululemon
One of my besties just purchased this jacket and it's beautiful and amazing and wonderful and gorgeous. I would want it in either the blue or the purple... maybe not... the black is nice!

In The Flow Crop II - Lululemon
Now, I already have 2 pairs of these pants, but golly gee, they are the best pants ever! EVER. I run, lift, interval train and SWEAT in them and they are amazing. I feel naked in them... and they are very figure flattering. One in every color please!

Ray Bans 
I do not own a pair of sunglasses. I've certainly never owned a NICE pair of sunglasses. I've been really looking for a great pair and this pair of indigo Ray Bans brings a very happy, joyful smile to my face! 

Anthropologie Owl Mug
I have one of these mugs already and I love it. I want more so that every morning I can drink my coffee out of one instead of waiting for mine to be clean. I have the black one... so any other color would tickle my fancy. I just love them!

MAC Lipgloss
I don't really care which kind, but I'd love a new, sexy, shiny, shimmery lipgloss. Shades: nude, peach or a pale pink!

Men's Health Power Training
I borrowed this book from a friend to read, leisurely, and it's PHENOMENAL! The way this guy trains himself and his clients really resonates with me. His ideologies are very congruent with what mine are shaping up to be. It would be a great tool for when I start training my own future clients. 

Foam Roller
With the amount that I train, a foam roller for my house would be amazing! While I watch TV or just before I go to bed, spending 10 minutes hitting the tight spots in my body would be sooooo relaxing... and so good for my body. My body is always tight... always. Foam rolling or self-myofasial release as I've learned in my course, is so important to physical health. 

I may add more but for now, that's all I got!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Why can life be so crappy??

I haven't blogged in a month and my last post was not 'good' news. This one won't be any better so if you want to read something light and fluffy and funny, you won't find it here.

One of my closest, dearest most special friends is Amber Macneil. Some of you know that just over 2 years ago, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Shortly after her diagnosis, my dear friend Kristen, also a close friend of Amber's was diagnosed with cancer. Kristen passed away on October 4th, 2013. Amber and Kristen walked their journeys together... it was sad and beautiful all at the same time. This past September, Amber was advised to undergo 6 weeks of daily radiation to keep her tumor at bay. She finished her treatments last Wednesday... victory, right? Um, no. A week later, Amber was dropped with yet another bomb... her youngest daughter, Kyla, was diagnosed with leukemia (I'm not even gonna dignify that word with a capital letter). We are all believers and amidst Amber's battle, she was faithful to Jesus. She inspired and continues to do so. However, I can't lie, when I read her text "she has leukemia", I dropped my phone and asked, "what the fuck?". At a time like that, an F bomb is entirely necessary. I don't care what anyone says... it's releasing. Usually, my first reaction in hard times (mine and those of the ones I love) is to pray. I firmly believe in the power of prayer (I still do) but I haven't been able to bring myself to that place of asking God for help. I KNOW he's there, I KNOW he's in control, I KNOW he loves Kyla, I KNOW his peace surpasses all understanding but I just don't get it. Why, God, why? How much can one family take? Why does a sweet, spunky, spirited 3 year old have to fight cancer? Why does Ryan and Amber have to go through yet another shitty journey? What good could possibly come out of this? And as I write this (and the tears stream down my face), I know that God has got this. I know he has their back and I know he has mine. I feel it. I may not understand why these things happen but I do know God... sometimes... and I know he loves hard and loves faithfully. I know he leaves his thumbprint behind on even the smallest situations. I know he died for me, for Kyla and for Amber and that he is orchestrating something powerful. I know he'll never leave us or abandon us. I know he heals (I've seen it and experienced it... not just physical healing but he's healed my heartbreak time and time again). And right now, I am heartbroken. I'm heartbroken for Amber and all that she must be feeling... I can't even begin to understand her pain. I'm heartbroken for Kyla and the childhood she won't have. I'm heartbroken for Ryan who must, once again, watch his family suffer through pain and crappy times. I'm heartbroken for Kinley who doesn't understand why her sister can't be at home. I'm heartbroken for Ry & Amber's parents who have to sit idly by and watch their offspring hurt. I'm also mad. So mad. WHY the hell do these things happen? And why do they have to happen to the people I love? (I realize that that may be an insensitive question, but it's how I feel). And yet, STILL, I trust God. I trust him with Kyla and everything else not right in my life and my heart and this world.

I'm feeling a little better.

Kyla, the little lady next to Isla in her pink party dress!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

In Honor of Kristen...

My strong, courageous, beautiful and faith-filled friend, Kristen, past away this past Friday morning. She lost her battle with cancer... one that took her body but not her soul. Kristen was a charismatic, funny, caring, talented woman who was both an amazing mother and wife. Her life has not been lost in vain... I have no doubt that her story has changed the lives of many, many people. Kristen had unwavering faith, something that has inspired me in my own relationship with Jesus. Despite this battle... and fight she did, she never let go of Jesus. She held on tight to his promises and believed for her healing. She is healed and singing in the presence of Jesus in heaven. I believe that with my entire heart. She is restored and more beautiful than ever. Kristen was a very talented singer... she had a voice so pure and beautiful that it rendered me speechless many times over. I have such a clear picture in my head of her singing with the angels, laughing and running through the streets of heaven. She will be deeply, deeply missed. It's hard to believe she's gone... I have known her for my entire life. Many, MANY of my childhood memories involve Kristen... breaking her parents decorations, having sleepovers with lots of chocolate, swinging in the park while singing songs from Sister Act 2, falling asleep on the beach and waking up completely sunburnt, dancing in my basement to "it's a kodak moment" and then smacking my head so hard it bled... and Kristen laughed, playing hide and go seek, the Singing Christmas Tree at church, endless youth events... and the list goes on. We've shared our weddings, the birth of our children, and so many of life's monumental moments. Kristen was a fixture in my life... a lifelong friend that I knew I could count on at any given moment. I have cried so many tears and have found myself in a fog... but the words that have brought me such comfort came from my beautiful daughter, Isla... "Mommy, don't be sad. We have many happy memories of Aunty Kristen. You'll never forget her". It's true... I have endless wonderful memories of Kristen... of who she was, what she believed in and the legacy she has left behind. Heaven just got lucky... Knowing she is in a better place, a place that is home to her doesn't take away the pain but it provides hope. My thoughts and prayers will always be with Mike, her 3 beautiful boys and the rest of her family. The hope we have in Jesus is powerful and it will sustain.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Spartan Super!

On September 7th, I ran my biggest and most challenging race of the season... a 14 km Spartan Race. This race was located in Red Deer. Cheryl (my Spartan sister) and I, packed our bags and headed down Friday night! We checked into our hotel and then drove to the race sight... immediately we were both excited and nervous! I had been training extremely hard for this race! At the end of June, I started 6 weeks of one-on-one sessions with my trainer. He had me on a very difficult 7 week training program.
Weeks 1-4 were 2 running days (a 5 km sprint interval run, a 7 km run or a 9 km run) and 3 lifting days. Weeks 5-7 were 3 running days (alternating through the 3 distances) and 2 lifting days. This was a challenging program but golly.... it worked! I felt so strong and so prepared for the Spartan Race. My goal heading into it was to accomplish it in less than 2 hours. My final time was 1:27:32, which is 33 minutes under my goal! Not only that, I completed 2 obstacles that I failed at in the Edmonton race in June. Not only that, I was the 8th girl to finish in my heat, so I was certainly proud of that! I felt incredible during this race... fatigued, yes but not exhausted! It was SO much fun! Our trainer came down to support us and the rest of the people from Servus who ran the race! I am already looking forward to next year and the 3 distances we are aiming to accomplish: 5 km, 14 km and a 20 km, also known as the Spartan trifecta! CANNOT WAIT!

pre-race hotel shots

matching Spartan Sisters!

showing off our guns!

a little pre-race fuel... nothing like a 5 hour energy drink!

The Dream Team!

post race medal eating!

I rinsed off already... we did it!

post-race Cora's!

post-race blister! (I had one the exact same on my other foot, too)

Such an incredible experience!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness

This weekend, I was the recipient of 2 very touching and heartfelt acts of kindness.
On Saturday while I was at a baby shower for my beautiful new niece, a very dear dear friend of mine who I love deeply and confide in regularly, dropped off a lovely card, and a wonderful gift. I've been struggling with a few things in life lately, and this card was so positive and uplifting and it reminded me that these times will pass and I'll get through them. Inside was some bath salts (that were used immediately as I LOVE baths) and a new Lulu tank, which I also used today in my workout! It's so cute and extra special that it was a gift. Thank you, my friend from the bottom of my heart for your love and generosity! You're the cats meow!

That evening, I decided to take Annie out for Pho... and by Annie I mean myself because there was no way she was going to eat salad rolls and beef lemongrass. At the restaurant, I recognized a young family that attends our church. I've never met either of them but recognize their kids from Sunday school. We chatted for a few minutes about our kids and that was that. When I went to pay my bill, this kind family had paid for my meal. How sweet is that? It warmed my heart!

I love these things... it inspires me to do this for others. These things (or notes or a coffee drop-off) can mean the world to others but if you don't do them, you'll never know. I know how touched I felt by these 2 kind acts. I want to Pay it Forward (sidenote: remember that movie... I was a bawling mess).