Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Trying my first Tri

As a group of sisters and nieces we signed up for a triathlon months ago. It has become somewhat of a tradition in my family, but this would be my first year participating.

After some spotty training, and a debate on whether or not to even go, I end up out of state ready for my first Sprint Triathlon. Late night giggles with the girls aren't exactly helping the energy levels, but we're off

It was wall to wall tires and bikes in my van.

We arrive with bikes and find our transition areas. Some sweet competitor helped me by moving her bike and making me space on the set up area. God bless you, whomever you are.

The swim leg was first, we had to swim 1/4 a mile in the fresh water.
We splashed and swam before hand to get used to the water and clam our nerves
(not sure if helped, but it was fun)

I was super jittery and super scared. I love to swim, but the warnings of flying limbs and splashing waters had me slightly terrified.
I was going to start with a sister, but seeing the way the time chips worked (age groups noted by swim cap color) I started on my own for an accurate time.

The swimming was chaotic, and I just kept thinking to myself "just get out of the clump"
which I did. My goggles fogged up, and I almost swam into a volunteers rescue canoe,
but other than that no problem. I could barely walk when I got out of the water.

I heeded my sister's advice and did not let myself sit down as I slipped on my shoes and grabbed my bike from the transition area. I ran out, hopping on my bike, thinking,
"just get going..." I was shaky and tired already. 10 miles of this???

After a few miles on the bike I started to deflate.
My body was jello and the sun was so hot, and my bike felt like it weighed a ton.
I could barely pedal. I actually started to cry- why didn't I train better? Why did I sign up for this stupid thing? I am terrible on a bike! I am riding a hybrid- it is so slow!!!! I wanted to stop.
I will confess, I muttered a few cuss words at this point.
After a few more minutes I remembered my Sports Beans (thank you caffeine boost) and dumped the bag in my mouth.

A well trained biker slowed by side and said- "Hey, you're doing good".
I snorted and asked, "how far are we???" She told me we were half way- 5 more miles, but warned me, "there are some big hills coming up, so hang in there. They say it's a flat course..." as she pedaled off she finished over her shoulder "But they lie...!"

At least I was warned.
I finished it out and got my head back together, hopping off the bike and setting off for the run.

Let's get these 3 miles done.
What's this??? Everyone is walking. They are tired too!
Their legs are marked with their age on their calf, and I start counting the ages as I shuffle past them. The run feels so comforting, all my half marathon training kicking into gear.
36. 24. 44. I pass all ages.
A few women in their 50's whiz past me. I keep going.

Finally I finish, strong and happy. (surprisingly it was 2nd best time ever for 3 miles)

We start taking photos and my sister surprises us with hand stamped necklaces she made.
I am hungry, I didn't eat much before the race...I start to falter. When times are posted I burst into tears. I am not sure what time would have made me happy in that exhausted state, but what I had wasn't enough (1 hour 30 minutes).

I actually cried the whole way to the restaurant.
I was so embarrassed and even more worn out. (Should have had chocolate and Coke at the finish line).

(Nothing like a loving sister close by with her iPhone to snap a picture,
reassuring me I would want it later)

The restaurant almost made it worse by not serving any Diet Coke...

But, as the chips and salsa (and Cherry Diet Pepsi) hit my system a miracle happened.
I start to feel euphoric.
I start to feel relief. I start to feel giddy.

I am a 40 year old non-athlete who just did her first triathlon, surrounded by sisters and a niece who all pushed themselves, too.


When can I do my next one?

Monday, August 15, 2011


The sign I had to have

(found on vacation, tucked in between suitcases for the drive home)

The games we watched

Back Yard Luau with the family

(love an excuse to stick a flower in the hair)

happiest in a summer dress and painted toes

and summer is gone already

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Simple Start to Food Storage Organizing


being prepared has been on my mind a ton lately.
Whether you follow politics or prophecies, or just simply enjoy feeling like you have abundance of goods on hand, food storage makes sense to everyone.

But if you're like me, we put it off.
I grab a few extra things here and there and hope I get to it before it spoils.

It is kind of a jumbled mess

Water damage from the pipe burst isn't helping things

A friend of mine has been a long time advocate of preparedness and emergency readiness.
She has started an program to help everyone get more prepared.( You can find out more details by following this link to 3 Steps . org)
I LOVE her idea for dinners. You plan a simple meal that your family will eat.
The next time you prepare it, buy enough for 5 more meals.

(for these photos I only have 3 meals- more on that later)

All of the ingredients are labeled and stored inside the bucket, which you also label.
Then you can stack the buckets, keeping them together, using very little space.


Because I had these buckets already (and they were 2 for a buck!) I decided I would start where I am and just get some of the stuff I had grouped together. They only hold 3 or 4 smaller meals.

The buckets will survive a pipe burst, plus they will be very easy to grab and throw into a car,
or even to carry to a neighbors or family.
Ideally, you will use 5 or 6 gallon buckets so you can store 5 full dinners with fruit or other side items . You can also get better lids (displayed on the 3 Steps websites)
to completely seal out any other damage.

My plan is to organize what I have, then slowly start with new buckets and anything new I buy, purchasing higher quality.

The goal is to have 18 buckets with 5 meals in each, (recipes also on the website), filling a 3 month dinner supply. Once you are done you will make ONE MEAL a week out of the bucket, and buy the ingredients to replace it, so you will rotate the entire set in about 2 years.

NOW- best case scenario is you will use these as needed- maybe a night where you have 'nothing' to make, or an evening where you are out and the kids can pull out a simple meal.
I also envision these being very easy to take to a disaster sight, maybe another neighborhood even, and how easy it would be to quickly distribute meals to needy or displaced families.

Worst case scenario is disaster or chaos hits your own home.....
you will supplement with other goods (like the 20 year shelf life basics) and know you have a dinner to look forward to every night.

I am NO expert, and I get overwhelmed easily, so I am happy to feel like I can tackle this a bit at a time. I have supplies for more dinners,
and will be adding them as I get the proper sized buckets.
I feel blessed to live in a 'time of plenty' and feel that storing for a time of drought
is the right thing to do.

For more info on this and more simple steps, again here is the link to 3

For more survival and political awareness,
visit this Prepper blog and get in the prepper blog ring.

Finally, if you are reading this and have a great idea that has made something easier for your storage preparedness, PLEASE put a link in your comments.

~Have a blessed day~

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Goodwill Grab

While on vacation I stopped into the local Goodwill on a whim.
I had a great time browsing books (bought 3), handbags (bought one fun tote),
and of course, the furniture.
I found this little nightstand which I HAD to have.
(Sorry kids, I am not sure how we are all getting home now)

The style is similar to some furniture we had growing up,
but mostly I love the lines of this little dresser.
Best of all, it was $6.99.

I decided to go the easy route, and bought a vintage white spray paint
that boasted "no sanding or prep work needed".
I was happy with what 2 coats of paint gave me.

I was in a panic, because I could only remove the top knob for painting.
After one coat, though, I saw that the spray paint really filled in nicely around the
lower drawer pulls, so I guess I got lucky on that.

This will probably end up in my reading nook,
a place to stash all my notebooks and highlighters,
but for now I am enjoying it in the corner of our breakfast area,
where it can hold my (fake) Scentsy.

I love the final product,
and this has inspired me to take on more makeovers for around the house.
This may move around a few times before it finally finds it's permanent home,
but for now I think it's a great start.

Feeling ready to makeover your own little piece?
I used Krylon Fusion Gloss paint in Dover White.
Be sure to link up your post in my comments so I can come peek!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Random Catch Up

Life is kind of like this in the summer-
I move from one moment to the next and hardly have time to stop and reflect
So, welcome to my random catch up.

I am so in love with the 4th of July,
I really can't say it enough

This year it was all about the food, the folks, and the photography.

A day trip to the "Twilight Zone" (Forks and La Push, Wa)
ended up being a surprise highlight of our trip.

All the men involved were much obliging to my silly photos and squealing. I am not above enjoying a completely pointless book on occasion.
And stomping on the stomping grounds was a fun indulgence.
(When is the next movie out, anyway?)

My niece's wedding gave me a chance to extend my vacation,
and spend some real downtime (16 days!) with my family.

Everything was fairy tale perfect, from the bride and groom, to the candle lit tables,
and all the pretty pinks.

Can I just say....I LOVE WEDDINGS!

On that note, I must simply say how precious my religion is to me at this moment in time.
Not only because of the beautiful weddings and belief
in families being together, as a unit, in the next life, but also because
of the precious gift of freedom and agency.

I feel the world would be a better place if people believed in a higher purpose and a higher power, and lived accordingly.

To love something on the level that most religious people do only means one thing;
it makes sense to share it with others.
For my church, that means two years of service.
What a day it was when my nephew came home from his two tough years in Paraguay.

Our family went from screaming, to crying, and back again,
as he came through that lobby.
It is great to have him back, but he is going through withdraws of not serving others and being back in the 'real world'.

One cool thing that impressed me while waiting there was the applause that spread through the airport as a service man or woman came off the flight.

I think when our eyes are open we see more than enough around us
to know we are blessed
to know we are loved
and to know these gifts must be defended with all our hearts.