my life in my words


We Take Care Of Our Own

So um . . .

What happens when you mix problem solving with impractical thinking and a hand mixer with sharp blades??

Oh you know, just this . . . 


Just call me 5-Slice Franny


You might be wondering how I came to share in E.T.’s ability to ‘phone home’ . . . so here goes . . .

Last night started out so great! The plan was simple: Go hang out and have dinner with your best friend and then spend even more awesome quality time baking up some healthy treats that you can both take on this weekend’s road trip to Leavenworth. Sounds simple enough, right?!? Well, I guess you could say I like to mix things up.

When I got to my best friend Korin’s house, I was greeted by her super sweet son holding up an awesome welcome sign for me.


“Welcome Amo” | Be still my heart ūüôā


The food was DELICIOUS and the conversation was laden with laughter and intellect (the best combo, if you ask me). As planned, we set out after dinner to the grocery store to make our road trip treats:


I was really looking forward to making these because they are a celebration of sorts, since I’ve been abstaining from sweets during my NO-SUGAR CHALLENGE (more on that tomorrow) for the past month and I get to actually eat these tomorrow! So I put on my special baking jammas and my happy face as we began whipping up our delectable edibles.

Everything just tastes better when you bake while wearing Super Mario jammas


I LOVE cooking/baking with Korin! She’s super funny and has helped me learn a few kitchen tips & tricks along the way. One of the cool things I learned was how to sub things in for recipes to make them simpler while still maintaining the flavor, and using recipes more as a guide as opposed to a MUST-DO-LIST. For someone who’s still pretty new to successful baking, every little bit of insight goes a long way. During our cooking adventure, we actually ran into a minor problem‚ÄĒone of the recipes called for us to use a food processor, but there wasn’t one available for us to use. Thankfully, her husband suggested using a hand mixer to do the processing instead.¬†Here she is¬†wielding¬†her weapons of choice:


Deep into the evening, her kitchen was flooded with the sweetest and most savory scents. It took EVERYTHING in me not to just eat all the cookies and chickpeas as they came piping hot out of the oven. I cannot wait to enjoy them fully tomorrow and though I’m hoping I have enough self-control to eat them ALL before we get to Leavenworth, I wouldn’t feel any shame if they were gone by the time we got there. They just look and smell SO delicious! As I was preparing the mix to make the Lara Bars, I realized I would need to utilize the hand mixer for all the heavy-duty mincing of the almonds, walnuts, etc. So I got started while Korin and her husband went to tuck their son in to bed. I was mixing the walnuts and realized that the mixer wasn’t working at full potential. I looked under the main part where the blades were and noticed there was a wall of walnut grounds covering the grinding area. I decided to clean the area with my left index finger because, well, yeah, I’m still not sure why‚ÄĒit just made sense at the time. Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying attention to the fact that my right hand was still hovering over the mixing button on the handle. A few sharp spins later and I felt intense pain in my finger and saw the blood pouring out all over my hand and the counter. With an urgency, I yelped, “Oh God! Oh no!” twice. Korin ran into the kitchen and asked what happened as I grabbed onto my finger in hopes of stopping the bleeding. The sad part is that there was a moment in my mixer cleaning frenzy that I thought, “Hmm. I should stop and do this with a butter knife.” Alas, I’ve yet to take my own advice in important situations.


I did my best not to panic as the pain increased and the tears just started flowing. I was hunched over her kitchen sink holding my finger and doing my best not to look, knowing that if I did, I would just panic EVEN MORE and it would just go downhill from there. Thankfully, Korin is a nursing student and knew exactly what to do next. Her husband had also just done CPR and First Aid training, so they worked together to keep me calm and comfortable as they tended to my wounds. After the bleeding stopped, Korin was able to see the wound better and deduced that I had sliced my finger at an angle 4 times on the front pad of the finger and once on the back of the finger. The cuts were clean and shallow enough to convince her that I don’t need stitches immediately, so there was no late night run to the ER (whew!), and she’s keeping watch over it for signs of infection. She gave me Tylenol and lots of hugs and helped me get me and my stuff back to my place and settled in for the night. I felt the throbbing the entire ride home, but thankfully not once while I was in bed. I slept very well and woke up with a lesser level of pain. I can still feel the bruising pressure, but the throbbing has stopped and the Tylenol is still helping me manage the pain. ¬†I am incredibly thankful that I was with my friends when all of this happened.¬†I really don’t know what I would’ve done if I hadn’t been doing all of this at Korin’s last night. Actually, that’s not true. I’d probably be sitting in the ER still waiting to be seen, bawling my eyes out like a baby while nursing my tears with a giant pile of vending machine chocolate bars and coffee. Okay, so maybe just the coffee….


All in all, it was a pretty eventful night and I learned some great lessons . . .


Now, I’m heading into the weekend, off to Leavenworth for my church’s annual Women’s Retreat where I’ll be running the multi-media, leading games, and doing opening skits for the sessions . . . all with my E.T. finger along for the ride! I realize that doing all of those things will take some maneuvering, but I also know that regardless I am going to have a great weekend surrounded by amazing (and dare I say wildly funny) women of faith, insightful Biblical teachings, and some DEEEEELICIOUS food. I’m also pretty sure there will be some hilarious photos to share, so stay tuned for that!


Grateful for the extra padding and secure dressing to keep my precious finger safe! Now, let’s phone hoooomee!


In closing, one of my best coping methods is humor, so dealing with the excruciating pain from the evening led to this photo with a little bit of a meme nod to celebrate just how capitalize on how ridiculous this accident has been:


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Anywhere But Here

There was never a doubt in my mind where I gained certain mannerisms and personality traits as I was growing up. My parents are intensely different in pretty much everything they do. When I spend quality time with each of them, those mannerisms and traits are magnified and I can pinpoint them in a heartbeat. I once took a spur of the moment road trip with my father from Austin to San Antonio (Texas) and during that car ride, he shared family stories and answered some of my bigger questions about life, maturity, and our family history. One of the stories he shared shed some light on an even richer background about a personality trait that I’d assumed was borrowed from him. He recounted a few instances where his mother would be finishing up the cleaning after dinner and on a whim, would say, “Mijo, let’s go for a ride!” He said they never had a real destination, they just went for a drive and spent quality time together, much like he would do with me. It revealed a legacy of encouraging the beauty of spontaneous adventure and it was something that I’ve always treasured. That day, my grandma gained 1,000 bonus hero status points!


I can always tell when my travel season is about to pick up because the travel bug bites harder and at the most random moments. My blood rushes and I¬†get overly excited. I begin to stare out windows, envisioning far away places and my imagination takes me anywhere I want to go. I’ll more often than not, start humming a familiar tune like Rascal Flatt’s LIFE IS A HIGHWAY or Foo Fighters’ WHEELS or the like. ¬†And in that moment, I’m not sitting on a crowded bus waiting to get to the transit center. I’m not standing in front of a microwave listening to the droning sound of my lunch heating up. I’m not waiting at the copy machine in FedEx hoping that the guy in front of me is only copying one sheet out of that giant book he’s got with him. No, I’m flying down the highway at 80 mph with my hair blowing in the wind and the speakers blaring catchy tunes‚ÄĒa wild woman on the loose, taking in all the sights that the world around me has to offer. Lately, that vision has been ingrained in my mind. I’m guessing a good reason why is because¬†next weekend I will be joining two of my closest friends on a road trip to Leavenworth. Though we may not actually cruise down the highway going 80 (believe me, we’ve had the safe speed debate in a previous ride), we will be together, sharing an adventure and building great new memories. I could not be more excited!!



I recently got to participate in a Mixtape Exchange hosted by a friend of mine from Texas. From time to time, he gathers a large group of music-loving strangers to create/ship out a mixtape CD to one another through his random selection. ¬†The concept is simple‚ÄĒeveryone makes a mixtape CD for someone they don’t necessarily know, they all ship it out at the same time, and they all receive one around the same time. I LOVE this concept. I LOVE designing new artwork to go with the mixes I make. I LOVE being a part of this and sharing the music I hold dear with others on the lookout for new tunes to spin. When it came time to make my mixtape for this go-round, I decided to give it an adventurous travel theme! I think it turned out really well. These songs and more will also be accompanying my friends and I on the road to Leavenworth next weekend.


So if ¬†you’re looking for new tunes to blast through your car speakers, or you’re just bored and in desperate need of a dance break, check out this mixtape playlist and enjoy!¬†

It’s also available on my Spotify
(except original/demo tracks)

Brighter Than The Sun | Colbie Caillat
Oh, Love | William Beckett
Not Over You (Gavin DeGraw Cover | Will Anderson of Parachute
Shake It Out | Florence + The Machine
48 To Go | The Fray
Laugh It Off | Eisley
I’m Shakin’ | Jack White
Blood Brothers | Ingrid Michaelson
Keep The Change Ya Filthy Animal | All Time Low
We Are The World Tonight | Runner Runner
Super Bass (Nicki Minaj Cover) | Nicolle Galyon
We Owned The Night | Lady Antebellum
Good Life | OneRepublic
Amelia Jean | Jack’s Mannequin
Southern Belle | Guthrie Scarr
Learning | Green River Ordinance
Young Blood | The Naked and Famous
In The Mourning | Paramore
A Face To Call Home | John Mayer
Ships In The Night | Mat Kearney 

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Run For Your Life | The Color Run 2012

Color me excited‚ÄĒI got to participate in the first ever Color Run in Seattle!

As I mentioned in Saturday’s post, the anticipation along the road for The Color Run has been building in me for a while. Yesterday, I finally got the opportunity to join my best friend and her husband in what I can only echo as “the happiest 5K on the planet!” Now, having participated, I am already looking forward to next year’s run as well!

If you know much about me, either through life or this blog, you would know I am SO not a morning person. However, knowing that I’m going to be spending the morning embarking on a fun, new experience had me ready and waiting at 6:30 a.m. for my best friend and her hubby to pick me up so that we could make our way down to Seattle Center for The Color Run! We grabbed coffee and breakfast at a nearby market, and people watched like mad as the crowd around us grew. We were amazed at just how many people (1) had even heard of this event, and (2) would be joining us for the run that day!

After fueling up with breakfast, we took our spots in the massive line, shook our groove thangs to the dance music booming over the speakers, and got our engines ready to go for the moment they let our wave of runners take to the running route. Once they let us out the gates, we all kept a great jogging pace and just enjoyed the ride. As we jogged our way through the route, we beamed with excitement when we saw the first color station, where we would be blasted by volunteers on the sidelines with blue powder. We felt like champs! It’s funny how something so silly as colored talc made us feel like kids again and motivated us to get to the next kilometer. We blasted through each station, keeping pace with one another, commenting on our surroundings, and developing strategies for getting maximum color coverage (Read: Rolling around in the excess powder on the ground). There was never a dull moment for us as we laughed, chatted, and encouraged each other along the route.¬†When we crossed the finish line, we were floating between accomplished, excited, and dead tired!¬†Alas, there was no time for rest! The party continued on as we entered the large grassy area in front of Fisher¬†Pavilion¬†with more dance music blasting from the speakers and a herd of other color-doused participants.

When we had gotten our runner packets at registration, they came with an individual pouch of extra colored powder that we were instructed to hold onto until the¬†Finish¬†Line Festival. As we entered the Finish Line Festival, we were greeted with a countdown and every person around us throwing powder in the air and at other participants in a wild frenzy. It was AWESOME!! We threw some of our powder in the air as well and stuck around in the area for a second blast (Color throws occurred¬†every 15 minutes to assure that every participant¬†received an opportunity for equal coverage). The emcee on the¬†main stage¬†was calling people up for dance and costume contests as we waited anxiously to throw more color powder in the air.¬†By the time we headed back to the car, we were covered in color and giant smiles. We carried the excitement with us to coffee at Uptown Espresso and lunch at Zeek’s afterward. We talked over lunch about our fun experiences and how much we wished that others could have joined us. We are all looking forward to doing this again next year, and building a bigger team so that others can have fun getting fit while feeling like a kid again!

If you’ve never participated in a 5K, or think a 5K has to be just another boring run, or if you’re just looking for a fun way to get out and exercise, I HIGHLY recommend you sign up for The Color Run in your city! It’s a one-of-a-kind experience you won’t regret or forget!


Here are some of my favorite photos from the day!


Me, Heather, and John before and after The Color Run!

Joining the ranks

Ready and waiting

A little pre-run dancing was definitely in order

Making our way through the 1st color station

Victory in technicolor

Done and done

Color powder pawty time!

Leaving our mark all over Seattle Center

Post-run party people!

Done with the run, ready to refuel!




Chasing The Light

If anyone ever tells you that getting fit is a piece of cake, please do me a favor and tell them,

“That ain’t cake you’re eating.”¬†


My road to reclaiming a healthy lifestyle has been a rough-and-tumble adventure thus far, but through hard work, sacrifice, and a raging passion to discover just how far past my pre-conceived boundaries I can push, it’s been completely worthwhile! Every landmark along the way has been beautiful and¬†exhilarating, giving me the momentum I need to keep going. When I began this journey, I hadn’t really excelled at setting and attaining fitness goals. In fact, it still takes me a while to figure out what exactly I want them to be each month. This month, I decided that my goal was to be able to RUN a 5k. I’ve participated in two 5k runs before, but for the entire duration of both, I walked . . . slowly. I also wasn’t very fit, which I used as an excuse to not even put forth much more effort than a brisk walk.¬†I didn’t even have motivation to work up to a jog. ¬†But my, how things have changed! Thankfully, I’ve been tracking a fitness tag on one of the social networking sites I use and I was able to take note of a 5k that is right up my alley . . .



That’s right‚ÄĒtomorrow morning, my best friend and her hubby will be joining me in one of the most creative 5k’s I’ve ever heard of! When I talked with my trainer at 24 Hour Fitness¬†about my past 5k experiences and how I wanted to do The Color Run, he helped me set up some training drills and provided so much encouragement to help me build up the strength, endurance, and positive attitude it would take for me to reach this goal. I decided that this was worth the effort to track over time, so I set up a photo journal to be able to share my progress with friends and family along the way:



As the days moved closer, I had some important conversations with my best friend about our differing fitness levels and what we each wanted to get out of The Color Run. Though I want success in running the 5k, we both agreed that there was no way we’d be able to run it together in a way that would allow me to get an accurate run time that reflected all the hard work I’d put in. Being the idealist who constantly strives for a win-win situation that I am, my compromise was that I would run the actual 5k distance on my own and use that time to reflect my 5k run. Using Map My Run, I set up a route that I could use:


Having completed the run, these are some things I learned:

  • Starting your run on an incline is BRUTAL.
  • Because I was starting on an incline, I got all psyched to build momentum, which meant I started at a fast pace. This lead to slowing down a LOT sooner than I believe I would have, had I not started on an incline.
  • Running on a treadmill in the gym is NIGHT and DAY compared to running on neighborhood sidewalks.
  • There is an abundance of dog walkers on this route.
  • The change in inclines and terrain was definitely challenging.
  • The change in air pressure and temperature was very taxing on my lungs, but now that they’ve survived the run, I’m pretty sure they’re made of slightly tougher steel.
  • Music helps me run SO much!!!! There were so many moments during the run I was ready to quit. I tried to give myself excuse after excuse, but then the song would pick up, or an inspirational lyric would come along and I would suck it up and just keep going.
  • Post-run stretches are heavenly. Also heavenly: My post-run protein shake!
  • Completing the 5k run made me feel so good! I had reached a huge goal and I was proud of myself for NOT QUITTING, as I’ve been known to do through so much of my life.



In my training drills journal, I’d been sharing some of the music that I’ve been listening to during the drills to keep me motivated to push through to the finish line. So what better way to end this sucker than by sharing my actual running playlist? Yeah, I don’t know either. ūüėČ



Warm Up:

Chasing The Light by Mat Kearney

5k Run Loop:

 Brighter Than The Sun by Colbie Caillat
Keep The Change You Filthy Animal by All Time Low
Unstoppable by Runner Runner
I Like It Like That by Hot Chelle Rae
Harder To Breathe by Maroon 5
Whirring by The Joy Formidable

Comeback by Redlight King

Cool Down/Stretches:

If I Die Young by The Band Perry

Ohhhhh. You’d probably like to know my time for the 5k run, right?


Well, boys and squirrels . . .  drum roll please . . . 

Yes, my friends, I did it! There were definitely moments during that entire 36 minutes that I slowed down to a light jog or brisk walk, but for me, the main thing was that when I did slow down, I didn’t stay there. I pushed myself to pick the pace back up and I finished strong, running through to the end! ¬†Though this run took a bit longer to run than the last one I had done on the treadmill, I couldn’t help but keep my head high. I realized a lot of it had to do with adjusting to the air, elevation, and terrain‚ÄĒand I’m okay with that. And who knows, I may just decide to run that route again at the end of the month to see if my time improves. It felt great to get to that finish line, catch my breath, celebrate my accomplishment through every beautiful stretch, and know that I didn’t cheat myself from a victory! It also felt good to refuel and relax afterward . . .

Overall, I’m SO glad I did this run on my own so that I’ll be able to be fully present with my friends during the run tomorrow. We may run, we may jog, we may walk, but the main thing is that we’ll be together having a super fun time!

I went to pick up my packet and now I have everything I need for The Color Run. The positive buzz surrounding the packet pick-up area really got me super jazzed and every time I look at my bag of goodies, the anticipation just builds even more.

Now I’m just waiting and hoping I can sleep through the buzz tonight.
With my 5k goal reached, the countdown is on for The Color Run tomorrow!