Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thankful Thursday

This has been one of those weeks while there is much for which to be thankful, I've been emotionally drained for the greater part of the week.  My thankful book contribution include numbers 370-394 so that's at least a couple a day. 

The highlights?

378) 2 books finished in one day
382) Order despite chaos
385) Time to tackle my "to do" list
392) Spa discounts
394) Challenging treadmill workout (hills)

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Who Doesn't Have Fun with Books?

I missed last week's What I'm Reading Wednesday (hosted by Lindsay).  As an update, I've finished off all 4 of my books in the "currently reading" and then some.  Bringing me to 12 complete out of my goal of 75 for the year. 

covertitleauthoravg ratingdate added Down_arrow
Lord, I Need Grace to Make It
Jan 27, 2013
Letters To A Young Evangelical

Jan 26, 2013
Good Christian Bitches
Jan 17, 2013

All books about Christianity...kinda.  Kay Arthur's book is my morning devotional.  Tony Campolo is a revolutionary Christian author I've read since I was a teenager - he really challenges (in a good way) what I believe and why.  And of course GCB is my guilty pleasure "fluff" reading.  I'm not very far through any of the above, so its too soon to tell if I'd recommend any of them.

Simple Life of a Housewife

If you are on Good Reads friend me! If you don't know what it is - check out

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon - Training Tuesday

I'm going to jump on yet another band wagon - the training blog weekly post!  Bari and Jaime are both doing this for their "A" races, and I thought it would be a great way to stay accountable and track my Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon* goals.

*Hence forward referred to as CHKM

My goals for the year include running a sub 2 hour half marathon and a really strong turn out in Knoxville.  Given the hills and the challenging nature of the course, I dare not hope for a sub 2 hour CHKM half.

Planned - Total Body weights class
Actual - rest

After running a 10 mile tempo on Sunday followed by a 12.5 mile strenuous hike on Monday, the ole muscles needed this break.

Planned - Social run
Actual - 5.5 in K-ville

Did most of this run solo (pacing was weird) and felt sluggish.  Stressed out from Daddy's surgery on Tuesday and staying with him Wednesday night for my daughter-on-duty shift, I desperately needed this break.

Planned - Total Body weights class
Actual - 30 min walk

Saturday was a 10 mile race, and we wanted to rest our (still sore/tired from the hike) legs.  Still averaged quicker than a 15 m/m so this was no mall stroll!

Planned - rest
Actual - rest

Planned - Calhoun's 10 miler
Actual - 14 mile training run

Due to the snow/ice "storm" on Friday the race officials cancelled this race.  Bummer, because I wanted to use this as a marker for a goal pace for the half in a couple of months.  Instead we ran 14 miles.  I fueled and hydrated VERY poorly, ended up walking some on the hills BUT still had my fastest 14 miles ever (and my 2nd best 13.1 time). 

Planned - rest
Actual - rest

Planned - 4 X 800 cruise intervals
Actual - Spin class

My training buddy and I had to shift our schedules around a bit and moved the intervals to today (keep me accountable for doing them after work m'kay?) so we hit the gym for a class.  Much needed quad work and an exhausting class.  High resistance for most of the class was a challenge, but when it felt impossible, I focused on pushing throw.  Slowing down is better than taking the resistance off (as far as my goals are concerned).

 Are you training for a spring race?  How's it going?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - Back on the Wagon

You'd think it would be old hat, how to find my footing to climb back on the menu planning wagon, given how many times I've fallen off.  Yet here I sit.

This past week I've had much to be thankful for, even still I had a stressful, unpredictable week.  The result was a week of eating like crap.  3,000+ calories some days!  I even "carb loaded" for my 14 mile long run with Wendy's: son of a baconator, fries, dr. pepper, and a frosty.  Needless to say, it was an ugly run.

All of that changes today.  Or rather Saturday.  I was careful with my food choices that evening, saving 800+ calories that I didn't eat back from my run.  Good thing, because I went to a birthday party yesterday and ate back 600 of them. 

Starting today, all my meals (including snacks) will be pre-planned.  The grocery list is made and the oreos are in safe keeping.  Here goes!!

Monday: Oatmeal, biscuit/Greek yogurt/Protein shake/PB&J, chips/broccoli Alfredo
Tuesday: Cereal/fruit & almonds/meatloaf, veggies, potato casserole/protein shake/chicken tacos
Wednesday: Egg biscuit/Greek yogurt/chocolate milk/meatloaf, veggies, potato casserole/Jay's choice
Thursday: Oatmeal, fruit/Greek yogurt/veggisaurus chili/protein shake/Stroganoff, green beans
Friday: Egg biscuit/fruit almonds/Out-to-lunch (w/mom)/Herb roasted chicken & rice, mixed veggies
Saturday: Lara bar/sports beans/chocolate milk, fruit, bagel/????????????????????????

We're planning a 12-14 mile run on Saturday, so I'm leaving the afternoon/evening open to see where my hunger and social calendar take me.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Praise the Lord - Many Thanks This Thursday

This week my family has been reminded of God's goodness and provision.   I've been keeping up with my thankful journal (numbers 324-369), but I had 2 huge PRAISE THE LORD moments I wanted to share.

My dad had total knee replacement surgery on Tuesday.   His knee has been shot for years, but he's pushed on.  Last year he and my mother decided enough was enough.  Retirement from football refereeing was the big hold up. 

My first PRAISE THE LORD is because of the successful surgery.  His doctor is very pleased with how it went and how well he's progressed.  Please continue to pray as he is released from the hospital in the next few days.

The other piece of awesome news for our family also came on Tuesday.  My 19 year old cousin Zach is officially in remission!!  As I said on twitter - #cancersucks but #Godisgood.

Some other highlights from the week:

(from the power outage last week)
327) firewood
328) battery operated lantern - gift from in laws
329) Kindle light
330) library books
331) 4-wheel drive

338) hockey game with Daddy
345) friends to hike with
365) Pepsi Max stash

What are you thankful for this week?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Book Review - The Respect Dare

I chose my latest Book Sneeze review title with an honest, expectant heart.  Respecting the hub-sand is something I struggle with.  Enter Nina Roesner’s The Respect Dare: 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband.

The book likes to compare itself to The Love Dare – based on the Movie Fireproof.  Each day for 40 days Roesner gives her readers a bible verse, a story of a couple in her Daughters of Sarah class* and then a dare for the reader to participate in.

*She mentions the Daughters of Sarah classes often.  A quick web search shows (perhaps) one reason why – tuition is $250 per person.

The author states in the early pages of the book that each of the vignettes are true, however they lack an air of authenticity.  Some of the situations praised are disturbing, others are downright dangerous!  Examples include the husband who refused to listen to his wife regarding his mother’s help.  She respected him, allowed her mother-in-law to babysit, and the child ended up in the hospital requiring stitches because she was allowed access to a knife.

Another was the story of a husband who constantly forgot to do his chores.  His wife decided out of respect she wouldn’t nag, nor would she do the chore for him.  Instead she’d allow God to teach him.  One chore included paying the electric bill: “Dick had to watch his children and wife shiver in the cold several times before he decided to take care of the bills promptly.”  (Kindle Locations 2154-2155).

Seriously??? Allowing your heat to get cut off (and one of the children was an infant) is God approved family building behavior?

Towards the end, it seemed as if Roesner ran out of “charming” applicable stories, and just started filling the pages to get done.  Dare 36: A random and seemingly unrelated story about a woman undergoing fertility treatments/miscarriage on her own.  Dare 37: Witnessing her father’s death and comforting her mother. 

I hated this book.  I only finished it because I felt as if doing otherwise would taint my ability to properly review it.  The writing style was poor, and the advise wasn’t logical.

Bottom line: Check it out from the library IF you want the urge to hurl a book across the room.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, January 18, 2013

Frugal Friday - Repurposed Gifts

Earlier in the week, Jay took out the trash. 

We tend to collect it, since "taking it out" actually means loading it up into a vehicle and hauling it to the dump.  Our outside container was full, we had 2 large black bags of "clean" (aka not smelly) garbage in the mud room, and our kitchen container was filled to the brim. 

I finished the milk that morning, and placed the empty jug on the floor beside the kitchen trash.  Apparently he didn't see it, because he emptied both cans and took them off along with the other bags and a couple of pizza boxes.

Over dinner, I commented on the milk jug which remained.  I tease him about his hoarding tendencies (shocking I know).  I asked him if he was saving it for a special reason - arts and crafts project perhaps?

Jay took my sarcasm and decided to turn it into a challenge - I would take the old milk jug and turn it into a fabulous Valentine's Day gift for him.  Since I'm not crafty, I decided to consult the interwebs and came up with the following:


So, whatta ya think?  Which of these (or what combo) should I attempt?  Do you have any other creative ideas I could try?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

One Thousand Gifts Thursday

I'm still working on my One Thousand Gifts but am slowing a bit.  Probably because I'm not pausing to think through the blessings in my life as much.  Even still, I wrote numbers 287-323 including:

289) Privilege of taking my grandmother to the doctor
290) Mamaw, Papaw, and I stopping for a milk shake before the appointment
298) Open windows on a January day
300) Jay calling MY dad, just to chat
303) Offering to bring
312) A full night's sleep
318) Hard working sump pump
322) Motivation to change (my eating habits)
323) Fresh fruit!

How 'bout you?  What are you thankful for today? This week?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Just like everything else, I have a social media outlet for tracking my reading material.  If you are on Good Reads friend me! If you don't know what it is - check out  The website allows you to make note of books you want to read and review books you have already finished.

I decided in 2013 I wanted to best last year's 60+ books read, so I set a goal of 70+ books for the year. 

So far I've read:

covertitleauthoravg ratingratingshelves date readdate added Down_arrow

With This Ring, I'm Confused (Ashley Stockingdale, #3)


didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it (my current rating) it was amazing

Jan 13, 2013 [edit]

Jan 08, 2013

Making Room for Life: Trading Chaotic Lifestyles for Connected Relationships


didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it (my current rating) it was amazing

Jan 08, 2013 [edit]

Jan 06, 2013

Come to the Table


didn't like it it was ok liked it (my current rating) really liked it it was amazing

Jan 06, 2013 [edit]

Jan 04, 2013

Paul's Letter to the Philippians (BibleDude Community Commentary Series)


didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it (my current rating) it was amazing

Jan 07, 2013 [edit]

Jan 03, 2013

A Certain Risk: Living Your Faith at the Edge


didn't like it it was ok liked it (my current rating) really liked it it was amazing

Jan 06, 2013 [edit]

Jan 03, 2013

A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley #1)


didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it (my current rating) it was amazing

Jan 2013 [edit]

Dec 28, 2012

Currently Reading:


didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing

not set[edit]

Jan 14, 2013

A Positive Life: Living with HIV as a Pastor, Husband, and Father


didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing

not set[edit]

Jan 10, 2013

How Can I Love Those Prickly People?


didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing

not set[edit]

Jan 08, 2013

The Respect Dare: 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband


didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing

not set[edit]

Jan 07, 2013

Look for a book review on The Respect Dare shortly. I'll give you a hint, I had to ask a friend if it was ethical to review a book I didn't finish.

What book do you have on your end table?
Kindle or "real" book?
Simple Life of a Houswife