I’ll be 32 in September.

Really?

In three months I’ll be 32. Thirty. Two. That’s serious. That’s a real adult. That’s a grown woman.

I have this dream where I can’t quite get to where I’m supposed to be. I’m stuck. And I feel restless. I’m not dying to go somewhere, to be somewhere, to do something, but to become something.

I have no control. It’s all out of my control. I hate that I can’t just do it. Make it happen.

Over the past year my life has changed drastically… Except that it hasn’t. The life around me has changed. My husband quit his job, went back to school, pursued a dream, and got his degree. He’s doing what he always dreamed of. He owns his own business. He is fulfilling his purpose and making a way for himself. He’s not stuck in an office and demanded of by time-sucking pointless meetings. I couldn’t be happier for or more proud of him. He set a goal and met it and is immensely happy.

If only such a dream could happen for me. I feel stagnant, aimless, headed in no direction. And I am restless. Patience is not my virtue. But I will wait – because I don’t really have a choice. This life (aside from my wonderful marriage) is not what I imagined or want right now.

Wait. I just have to wait. It will come.

photo recap of the firefly fesitval

1. Firefly music festival in Dover, DE | 2. Our campground | 3. Hot air balloon rides | 4. Ready for day two | 5. Ra Ra Riot | 6. There was a lot of waiting | 7. Grouplove | 8. A brilliant idea | 9. The Killers from a distance | 10. Ready for day three | 11. Starting the day off on the right foot | 12. Death Cab for Cutie dueling drums | 13. The sunset (black and white wouldn’t do justice) | 14. Flaming Lips (ca-razy!) | 15. Daniel’s favorite festival tattoo | 16. Black Keys closing out the show

The Lightning Brought Me Back

Last night I woke up in a start at 1 am, realizing I hadn’t completed a small but important task for work. I finished it in about 20 minutes, but then sat at my tiny dining room table for several more minutes staring out the window. All of the lights were out, but our apartment was filled with a glow every few seconds as a storm raged over the DC area. It really was an incredible sight and even once I went back to bed I laid awake for a while watching the sky behind the curtains light up with electricity.

≈≈≈

I thought to myself last night, “I want to blog about this.” But I talked myself out of it because it doesn’t fit into the “wife life, healthy living, pop of color” tagline I’ve assigned to this blog. As I laid there watching the light abound in our bedroom, I thought about this blog–what it is, what I want it to be, and why I haven’t posted in over three months. I went back and forth about whether to post something so trivial. And then it hit me. This is my blog. Mine alone and I can and should post whatever I want. I love to read A Beautiful Mess (and Everyday Elsie), Dainty Squid, Love Elycia, Girls Gone Child, Vanagon Champion, and EnJOY It. These are all incredibly different blogs (lifestyle, fashion, DIY, vintage, and everything in between), but they all have one thing in common: The women that run these blogs own them. And I mean OWN them. They make no apologies, answer to no one, and post what they want. Post about their lives, their passions, their goals, and even their trivial little findings. And you know what? I love them all the more for it.

These women don’t know me, and even though I feel like I know them because of their willingness to open their lives to the interwebs, I don’t really know them. But they inspire me. Last night I wanted to take a picture of the lightning so I could have a visual representation of my epiphany, but I knew it wouldn’t turn out (I’m no pro). But these women inspire me to pull my camera out more. To document my life. To use this blog as a resource for memories when my mind just won’t cooperate. They inspire me to be me. To pursue my passions. To look around my house and see what I can do myself instead of buying it or paying someone else. To talk about my desire to be a mother and all that that entails (including fear). To feel confident in what makes me unique. To love myself–just as I am.

I will still write about my life as a wife. Being a wife affects almost every aspect of my life. And healthy living is something I may always struggle with. Posting my frustrations only help me to realize what those struggles are and how I can combat them. Since Daniel and I recently, finally, moved just 2 miles from DC and are living it up in our fabulous urban setting, talk of DC and all it has to offer will definitely be a popular topic on this blog. And I feel as though I will constantly be defining and refining my style and aesthetic and will always want to share little projects or items from my house (hopefully with lots of pops of color!). But there’s so much more to this blog than those four little ideas.

The thing is… I can’t keep myself from posting because I think that what I’m writing isn’t as good as what anyone else is writing. I’d love to do outfit posts and share the items I picked at my local thrift store, but we don’t have an abundance of those around me. I’d love to share my weekly or daily craft projects, but the truth is that I’m really not very crafty. I’d love to write with the eloquence of a professional with words that move and inspire, but I don’t possess that talent. I’d love to share dozens of amazing photos, but I’m still (very much) learning. I’d love to proclaim my self-love from the rooftops, but the fact of the matter is that I don’t always love all of me. These are the things I love about the blogs I read on a daily basis and the things that Elsie, Kaylah, Elycia, Rebecca, Amy, and Elise share with amazing talent and gusto. But it’s okay that that’s not me. I don’t have to live up to anyone else’s standard. My only hope is that maybe someday someone will love my blog as much as I love these other blogs. The best I can hope for is that at least that someone is me.

Once again…

I’m writing about struggling with my running. I think this is going to become a regular segment on this blog. As you can see if you have been keeping up with my daily workout page, I haven’t been having a daily workout. Not even close. I wrote a couple weeks ago about struggling and that I was going to challenge myself to running at least a mile every day, no matter where I had to squeeze it in. This past week I didn’t run one single day. So you can see how well that challenge went.

There are two things I’ve figured out:

  1. I am not good at sticking to things. Daniel pointed this out to me the other day and it was a major discovery for me but he’s totally right: I have a pattern of being gung ho about something for about 2 weeks. And then I taper off. I get behind, I get lazy, I find a new show to watch on Hulu plus, and I’m done for. I wonder if that means I have ADD… hmmm…
  2. My dietary choices drastically affect my running and how I feel about running. A couple of weeks ago, I had left over steak and rice for lunch one day at work and that evening’s run was grueling. It was a real struggle to just keep going. The next day I had the splendid quinoa with black beans and tomatoes and my evening run was easy peasy lemon squeezy. I feel light on my feet and like I could run and run and run. Now, I only ran 2.17 miles, but for me, that’s a good long way. I had a chicken sandwich a fries for lunch today and my evening run was another struggle. So, there you have it. I can’t deny the facts.

All that said, I have to stick to something at some point. I’m signed up for a 5K on April 14, exactly 2 weeks from today. So, that gives me 13 more days to get ready. I had planned to follow the Couch-to-5K plan, but that means that by now I’d be running 2.5-2.75 miles each day by now. The most I’ve done is that 2. 17 mile run and that was almost 2 weeks ago. Having barely run since then, I’m not up to speed. So, I came up with a plan:

  • Today I was able to run 1.7 miles without walking. It wasn’t easy, but I pushed myself. So, if I can increase my distance by a tenth of a mile each day through April 13, then I’ll be ready for 3.1 miles on April 14:
    • March 31: 1.7 miles
    • April 1: 1.8 miles
    • April 2: 1.9 miles
    • April 3: 2 miles
    • April 4: 2.1 miles
    • April 5: 2.2 miles
    • April 6: 2.3 miles
    • April 7: 2.4 miles
    • April 8: 2.5 miles
    • April 9: 2.6 miles
    • April 10: 2.7 miles
    • April 11: 2.8 miles
    • April 12: 2.9 miles
    • April 13: 3 miles
    • April 14: 3.1 miles (By the way, I KNOW this is going to be hard. I know it. But I have to push myself. I just have to.)
  • I am going to use my Vibram Five Fingers shoes for my runs for these two weeks. I wore them the last time I ran and my legs and tush were sore for 3 days afterward (my first excuse for skipping a run). If I keep running and using the toe shoes, it will help to strengthen and tone my bottom half. This is definitely going to take a toll on my body, especially running so much and not being used to it, but it will be great. This is something I HAVE to stick to. I can’t walk at the 5K. I just cant.
  • I am going vegan for the next two weeks. If eating quinoa and fruits and vegetables makes me feel lighter, then that will help my running every day. So no more bagels or cereal for breakfast, only smoothies. And no more sandwiches,  burgers, steaks, chicken barbeque, and take out mexican for lunch and dinner, but back to the Daniel fast diet of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and legumes.

So, I hope you’ll help keep me accountable – Lord knows I need all the help I can get! What are you doing to push yourself these days? What is your big struggle in the fight for healthy living? Who helps to push you when you can’t push anymore??

pinterest challenge: completed

Today I’m linking up to the Pinterest Challenge on Young House Love. Once a quarter Sherry challenges her readers to stop pinning and start doing. And that’s just what I did!

This was my original idea:

via/via

I have a soap dispenser in my kitchen for hand soap. You too? Crazy town! Anyway… the dish soap lives in its giant plastic container under the sink so every time I need dish soap (oh…five times a day?) I have to haul it out from the cabinet. I decided to remedy this situation. I have a matching soap dispenser in the bathroom–both are glass. So, my plan was to bring the bathroom dispenser into the kitchen for dish soap and to label them by etching. I had one other experience with etching and it did not go well. Okay, it went terribly. I tried this method and it was an absolute mess. Such a mess, apparently, that I threw the etching cream out. So when I came home with the vinyl letters to try the Martha Steward method, I found no etching cream in the house.

So, onto plan B:

via/via

Being the book nerd that I am, and having been looking for a wreath for the front door for a while, I decided that a book wreath was the way to go. I took the plunge. I had all the materials, so I just went for it.

It was a time consuming project. It was about 5 hours, 4 episodes of Parenthood, and 3 episodes of 30 Rock worth of work (you can see a little Parenthood in the picture above…). Each page had to be rolled, glued to itself, and then glued to the foam wreath. And in the end there’s almost 100 pages on my wreath.

But I’ll tell you what, it looks fantastic (in my opinion). My plan was to hang it on the front door (obviously), but Daniel came home from Bible study just as I was finishing and suggested that outside might not be the best environment for such a fragile item. I had to admit that he was right and so we searched for a good spot for it inside the apartment.

We have an awkward half wall between the kitchen and the living room that I have never quite known what to do with. I put some items from the wedding on top of it, but mostly I just try to ignore it. Daniel suggested that we hang the wreath there, and I was skeptical at first, but once I saw it, I knew it was just the right spot.

Thanks, first, to Sherry for pushing us to start doing! Thanks to Lindsay for the very helpful tutorial. And thanks to my dad for recently giving me a biology style manual from the 70s that I used for the pages (thoughtful, as I work as an editor–but not really something that I can use. Its pages were just the right weight and yellow-ness). I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out!

So… did you make something for the pinterest challenge? Or are you at least doing some of what you’re pinning??

what i wore: pea green sweater.

This is my favorite sweater. I wear it at least twice a week. I have a bit of a cardigan problem (I have a lot!), but this one definitely gets the most airplay.

Now that the weather is getting nicer, my dresses are definitely making more appearances. I love wearing dresses – I mean, who doesn’t?

I am a flats girl. I rarely, rarely wear heels. I only have two pair. But I have lots of flats in a rainbow of colors.

cardigan::ann taylor loft
dress::charlotte russe outlet
tights::target
shoes::charlotte russe outlet
belt::forever21
necklace::target

motivating myself

via

I’ve probably said this 100 times. Motivation is hard to find. I am really good at setting a goal, sticking strong to it for a couple of weeks, and then tapering off, making excuses, and giving up or giving in. If you’ve been checking my daily workouts, you’ll see exactly that. I started off strong and lost it fast.

February started showing signs of spring and I got in a few runs outside, which make me totally happy. But the last couple of weeks have been cold again and I’ve been forced back to the gym, which I find depressing. I don’t push myself as hard in the gym as I do outside. So, I’ve made a lot of excuses to avoid running on the treadmill.

I’m really good at talking myself out of things. Really good. I can convince myself of anything if it means I get to take the easier road. I’m lazy. I had my first migraine a couple weeks ago–complete with shooting pain and blurred vision. Immediately following those three days, I had some sort of stomach bug. It was unpleasant. So, I didn’t work out for 5 days. And even though I wasn’t choosing to miss working out on those days, I felt like a failure. And so, halfway through the week I kinda of gave up. Stopped caring. Started eating crappy again.

But then my hubby came to the rescue. We went to the family cottage on the Potomac River for the weekend and brought our workout gear. If it weren’t for him, my shoes never would have made it out of my duffle bag. But on Saturday afternoon, on another unseasonable warm day, he convinced me to head out to the road. And he pushed me. I hadn’t yet run a mile straight (I usually have to stop to walk for a few seconds at about the half-mile mark), but he wouldn’t let me do that. And so, struggle as it was, I ran that mile straight. And then alternated jogging and walking for a second mile. I have him to thank for that.

The week after the cottage was another cold one. Having to work out in the gym is the quickest way to talk myself out of working out. I only worked out twice that week – and once was using the stationary bike. I pretty much just hate running on the treadmill. Luckily, this is what the weather looks like for the next 10 days. So I have no excuse not to work out. It’s been 32 days since I started tracking my workouts. I’ve had some sort of physical activity on 19 of those days. Even though I haven’t lost any weight, and as half hearted as I’ve felt about it, the fact that I worked out 19 days in the past month makes me feel pretty good. And the thing is, I don’t have to be perfect.

It’s okay if I don’t feel like running every day. It’s okay if I miss a day here and there. It’s okay if I just can’t muster the motivation to put my sneakers on. As long as that’s not happening every day. As long as I can motivate myself (or rely on the hubby to motivate me) most days, then I’m okay.

We leave for Europe in just over 5 weeks. And I’m signed up for a 5K in 4.5 weeks. I want to run the whole route, so I have to stay on top on my running. Ever since we finished the Daniel fast, DAB and I haven’t felt great. Our bodies obviously loved the way we were eating and so, at least until we leave for Europe, we’re doing a modified version of it by cutting out dairy, bread, and sugar. And I am going to do my best to run at least 1 mile every day. It takes me 13 minutes or less, so there’s really no reason I can’t fit that in every day. If I can only fit in that one mile, then that’s better than nothing. I didn’t really work out when we were doing the Daniel Fast before, and I haven’t been eating well during the past month of exercising. I’m looking forward to the results of doing both.

What are you doing to motivate yourself?