running · running total · Uncategorized


I started 2017 with 7 miles.  I took a couple days off at the end of 2016 for a tight groin muscle, but wanted to start 2017 running.  I’m glad I did.  The morning was cold and dark and quiet and I had the streets and lingering Christmas lights all to myself.

I don’t know how many miles I ran in 2016.  I started logging miles, took a break, logged some more, then forgot again.  I ran 2 marathons and PRed both, which was unexpected and so exciting.  I learned to run in the cold and actually enjoy it.  I logged miles with friends and plenty alone.  I ran circles around the pond and up and down the main streets.  I got faster, slower, faster again.  I found more of myself in the steady drum of my feet, cleared my head, worked out emotions, rehashed conversations, made mental notes, prayed, cried, and recited scraps of poetry.  I created mantras and then never spoke them.  I wondered what would be next, worried about what would be next, pushed after what was next.  I wore out shoes and recharged my Garmin, I chafed and blistered and lost a toenail (maybe forever).  I grew leaner, stronger.  I remembered what I loved in running, in myself.

I’ve been pregnant or nursing for some, if not most, of every year since 2011.  This will be my first year back just me and I’m really excited to see what I can do, what else will wake up inside of me.  Some thoughts:

  • This 50K in June with Kimberly.  It’s really cheap and doing an ultra (or more) has been a goal of mine since 2010.  Starting with a 50K would be a great way to test the waters and really doable from a training perspective.
  • My tenth marathon.  Not sure if I’ll go big (something like Chicago or Cleveland or Indianapolis or Grand Rapids) or small and scenic, like Presque Isle.
  • PR the half marathon.  My current half marathon PR is from May of 2010, so I’d like to go after a new one.
  • Keep running for fun and for me.  It’s easy for me to sometimes get lost in the “should” of running – I’m training for a race or to keep weight off – but when it comes down to it I run because I love it and because it makes me more me.

I’d love to do some strength training and yoga in there, too, but I’m not certain enough that I’ll really do it to make it an official goal.  But maybe!



to kimberly


Kimberly and I met way back in 2011, when we were both pregnant with our boys and I ambushed her on a Fort Wayne street corner wearing the exact same maternity dress.  Stalker much?  I knew her (I followed her blog) but she didn’t know me before then.  We started becoming friends – I’m not even sure how exactly?  I think it grew pretty organically and now she is one of my best friends!  We’ve roadtripped to Chicago/Wisconsin for a race and to Ohio for a Mother Runner party.  We’ve run together, raced together, done a terrible mud run together, and sent many texts and voxes commiserating lack of sleep, overactive or sick children, and so much more.  We’ve gone together to the Santa Train in Fort Wayne the past three years and met up at parks and picnicked out of the back of our vans in hopes that our children will play and let us talk just a little.  She is sassy and funny, determined and brave, and the most generous person I know.  She sets audacious goals and chases them down relentlessly, from running PRs to personal development to job changes.  She’s a runner, a mom to 2 boys, a writer, a wife, a youth director, a personal trainer, a workout instructor, a friend, a sister, a weight loss hero (over 100+ because she’s badass), a marathoner, and so much more.  I just can’t say how much I adore her and admire her and love her!

Do you know Kimberly?  (If you don’t – GO FOLLOW HER on her blog, instagram, and facebook!)


advent calendar

This is the Advent pocket calendar I grew up with:


My aunt and my mom would fill it with little gifts in each pocket and we opened one a day – candy, coins, bracelets, little toys, etc.  It was one of my favorite things.  Last year my mom offered me the calendar and I was SO excited to do this with Leo and Katie and Molly.  I decided to do a mix of gifts and activities – partly because finding 25 small gifts that a 17 month old all the way to a 5 year old would like felt really daunting (and honestly I don’t always have a gift for Molly right now because she’s little).  Here’s what I came up with.

  1. nativity sticker sets
  2. snowmen window clings
  3. paint Christmas pictures (we printed out a whole bunch of Christmas scene pages from various websites)
  4. pennies
  5. The Beginner’s Bible and The Biggest Story (thanks, Black Friday super sale!)
  6. Christmas socks
  7. Christmas coloring books
  8. take a glow stick bath
  9. nickels
  10. ride the Santa train
  11. little books about sharing/good attitude/etc. (hey,
  12. having our friend over for pie
  13. Christmas stickers
  14. book and Christmas story dvds (again,…)
  15. dimes
  16. watch a Christmas movie together
  17. decorate Christmas cookies
  18. take cookies to grandma and grandpa
  19. write letters to Santa (we actually don’t really do Santa but the library has a mailbox and I thought Leo would enjoy making a list and putting it in the box)
  20. Christmas art stencils
  21. make gingerbread houses
  22. quarters
  23. Christmas light walk downtown
  24. read nativity story

We’re about a week in and the kids have been LOVING it.  They are so excited to open the pocket each morning.  I put little slips of paper in them – if it’s a gift I put them under the tree before the kids get up so they open the pocket and have a note telling them to go find a present under the tree.  Ideally I would have had smaller gifts that could fit in the pocket, but I just didn’t find much in that arena (and Molly still puts small things in her mouth).  I’ve tried to keep it pretty simple so that it’s exciting and fun for them, but doesn’t require more effort/time/money than Dave and I can realistically give.  I’m really looking forward to doing this every year!

podcasts · Uncategorized


In the last year or so I have really gotten into podcasts.  I credit Dave – he loves podcasts.  I wasn’t too interested but once I started listening I was hooked!  They’re especially great for long car rides.  Once a week I travel for work an hour and 45 minutes each way and podcasts really help the drive pass quickly and keep me awake.  Here are a few of my favorites:

The Popcast: This is by far my favorite.  They’re mostly discussing pop culture, but Knox and Jamie are hilarious and so entertaining.  I also love their southern accents.  I eat these podcasts up and I’ve been back-listening to episodes, too.  Can’t get enough and never gets old.

The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey: Every week Jamie brings another woman on and they just talk about life.  It sounds basic but it’s really fun to listen to.  They tend to run the gamut in terms of deep, emotional stories, funny tidbits, and silly details about fashion or makeup.

Surviving Sarah: I just started listening to this one, but so far I like it.  It is pretty similar to Jamie Ivey, although maybe a little more serious.

What Should I Read Next: Anne Bogel interviews someone each week and asks them to name three books they love, one they hate, and what they’re reading right now.  Then she makes recommendations based off of that.  I’ve written down a bunch of books to read that she’s talked about.  Episodes are pretty short, too.

Relevant: I haven’t been listening to this one as much recently, mostly because I’ve gotten into some new ones, but I always enjoy listening to the banter between the guys.  I sometimes listen to the interviews, but mostly I’m listening to the first half where they’re all just talking to each other.  So funny.

Sorta Awesome: I’ve only listened to a few episodes of this one, but it seems promising.  Four women share hosting responsibilities and it seems like different combinations are on each week.  They talk about their “awesome of the week” and then generally focus around a particular theme or idea.

I use the PocketCasts app to listen.  It’s $3.99, but I think it’s worth it if you listen to podcasts because it allows you to adjust the speed for listening.  I listen at about 1.6x speed and now when I listen at regular speed I wonder why everyone is talking so slowly.  If you want a free app, BeyondPod is a good option.

And not a podcast but a tv show, I’ve been really loving Suits lately.  I’m watching season one right now and I’m all in!

What podcasts do you listen to?  Do you have ideas for me?

recipes · Uncategorized

leek soup

I pulled the recipe for Spring Onion Alphabet Soup out of Better Homes and Gardens last month and made it last night, with some adjustments and substitutions.  We loved it!  It’s a really light soup,  but warm and comforting.  Good for a rainy spring day (like yesterday) or as a vegetarian substitute for chicken noodle soup.  We’ll definitely make it again.

Leek Soup

  • 1/4c. butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 leeks, white parts thinly sliced
  • 2c. frozen peas
  • 8c. vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2-2c. small pasta
  • 1t. salt
  • 1/4c. pesto
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium high heat.  Add the onions and leeks and saute for 10-15 minutes, until onions are soft and translucent and just starting to caramelize.  Add the peas, broth, pasta, salt, and pesto.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmering for 10-12 minutes, until pasta is tender.  Remove from heat, add lemon, and serve.

books · Uncategorized

favorite kids books

This is by no means an exhaustive list and it’s certainly one that changes regularly, as we find new books/authors and as the kids get older and their interests shift and change.  But here are a few that we love!

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead



My Aunt Penny got the kids this book and it is just so dear.  Dave and I love that it centers around an older man (not a typical kids book character) and the illustrations are so sweet and serene and wonderful.  The whole book feels very nostalgic and is just incredibly well done.  The kids love it, too.  Highly, highly recommend.

Being a Pig Is Nice by Sally Lloyd-Jones


We recently picked this book up from the library, mainly because Sally Lloyd-Jones wrote the Jesus Storybook Bible (LOVE) and I heard her on a podcast and wanted to check out her other books.  Leo is currently obsessed with this book and as soon as we finish reading it asks if we can read it again.  It’s perfect for his age.  We also got her book The House That’s Your Home and while the kids like it but don’t love it, I find it to be one of the more poetic kids books I’ve encountered.

Look Inside a Farm by Usborne books


This is Katie’s current favorite book.  She likes to find all the cats hidden about.  This is such a fun book because it has flaps within flaps and books within the book.  It’s super cool and very informative, too.  Leo especially likes that when you lift one flap of a cow’s tail, you see the cow pooping.

Flutter Fly by Kaaren Pixton


This is Molly’s favorite book, if she had one.  As our resident goat, Molly will relentless pursue anything she can put in her mouth, especially paper and plastic bags.  We originally got this book for Katie when she was a baby and she didn’t care about it at all.  Molly, however, finds it quite satisfying to wave it around, eat it, etc.  It’s indestructible and can’t be torn, so she can chew to her heart’s content.  It’s also washable, although I haven’t needed to yet.  The paper has a slightly fabric feel to it and I find if I crumple up the pages a bit, Molly can get a better hold on pages.

This is a short list and leaves out a whole slew of other books that the kids love and read (or want to read) daily, but these are current favorites.  What about you?  Any we should be checking out?


in sickness and in health

It’s been a looooong month over here.  Molly got a cold at the beginning of February.  Leo caught it, which led to an asthma attack that required steroids.  Molly’s eventually became an ear infection (which had been cooking for weeks – at her doctor appointment at the beginning of February they were a little pink, but not infected, and then a week or so later when she wasn’t sleeping they were still pink, but not infected, and then another week or so later one was, yes, very infected).  One round of antibiotics wasn’t enough so we had to do a second, stronger round of antibiotics which did, finally (or so it seems), kick the ear infection AND the congestion.  Oh, she also popped two teeth during all that, too.  Just as we were feeling relieved from all that, Leo caught a stomach bug and was up during the night puking.  Then two days later I caught it and was up puking, too.

So now we’re on the other side – or at least I hope we are.  Molly has a large scab on her nose from where it rubbed raw from so much suctioning and wiping.  The washing machine is running load after load of sheets and towels and laundry I got behind on while I was flat on the couch.  And I’m still a little bit worried that the stomach bug isn’t through and Dave or Katie or Molly (although she’s least likely, since she’s still nursing) will fall prey.  I hope not!

In that month though, Molly has gotten faster at crawling and has figured out stairs – she likes to climb the whole flight for fun (with Dave spotting her).  And my two toes – which I broke way back in mid-January – finally seem to be healing enough that I could start doing some exercise again.  That actually seems feasible, too, as Molly is sleeping better now that she’s not sick and those teeth have come in!


We also had a big snowstorm and got about a foot of snow.  We spent one morning enjoying some time outside with friends, sledding and building a snow fort, and also inside, eating pancakes and drinking hot cider.  It was a wonderful snow day!