This and That

Archive for December 2011

I am the only one in my family, the only one of my friends, and the only one that I personally know that actually enjoys writing New Year’s resolutions. I love the idea of a fresh start and making challenging goals for the new year. It’s empowering to me that with each January 1st can come a clean slate, the chance to do things different, and to better myself.

Now don’t get me wrong, I usually don’t keep 99% of my resolutions. Usually by February or March I have either forgotten about them or have completely failed in following through on them. Never-the-less it’s fun for me the think up my resolutions and try to keep them, for at least a little while.

I haven’t finalized my list yet but here is the rough outline, in no particular order:

  • Spend at least 10 mins of quite time with the LORD everyday
  • Be more thoughtful and sincere in my prayers
  • Keep up my healthy eating
  • Continue to challenge myself as a cook with new recipes and new methods
  • Run 3 times a week
  • Run a 10K
  • Run a half marathon
  • Take a family vacation
  • Save for a house
  • Get Lasik
  • Stay debt-free
  • Have mandatory date nights with hubby at least twice a month

What do you think of my resolutions thus far? How many do you think I will accomplish?

So whose with me? Join in the quest to better yourself…even if it is just for a couple months! 🙂


In 1995 there was a Nike ad that resonated with me so profoundly I still think about it today. Yes I am old. I still like something from almost 17 years ago, so what! Let’s move one. If You Let Me Play Sports ad targeted the importance of allowing young girls to play sports and the benefits that come out of it. Such as:

  • 50% less likely to get breast cancer
  • Higher self esteem
  • Greater confidence
  • Suffer less depression
  • More likely to leave a man who physically abuses her
  • More likely NOT to get pregnant before she’s plans to

In a world that still view women as sex objects, where women still only make  77.5 cents to every dollar a man makes, and in a time when pre-teens are having sex I think this ad is a reminder of how important it is to build up our girls and give them the confidence they need to stand up to this world that keeps trying to push them down.  As a women and a girl who played sports, this ad was and is so empowering to me. I do not have any daughters but if you do please, please let her play sports!

Watch this ad and if you are a woman I guarantee that you will be so pumped up you will want to lift some weights. If you are a man I am not sure how this will make you feel, but you should probably lift some weights too. I’m just saying.

My family seriously had the best Christmas; it’s so sad that the celebration is over already. The boys got way too many toys, so many in fact we could probably donate them all to a small country and every child there would have one of their very own.

My family, my brother’s family, my great-grandma, and my parents start the fun on Christmas Eve when we all gather at my parent’s house for dinner and presents. A big part of the fun was tracking Santa on the NORAD website. Tracking Santa gets better every year, it’s truly amazing, and the kids just eat it up.

Read the rest at


The Gospel of Luke: Chapter 2

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

The Gospel of Matthew: Chapter 2

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’[b]

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

The Escape to Egypt

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”[c]

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”[d]

The Return to Nazareth

19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.

May the day of our LORD’s birth be remembered , tomorrow, and everyday throughout the year!

May God bless you and keep you safe this season and through 2012!

So we don’t all forget the real reason for the Christmas season in the midst of all the presents and craziness:

The Gospel of Luke Chapter 1

God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.


The Gospel of Matthew: Chapter 1

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f]because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

And then….

So today I am going to try and run Fartleks. Now stop laughing, Fartleks is not a bad word although it’s funny to say. Fartleks is “speed play” in Sweedish and it’s a form of interval training .  Gösta Holmér a cross country runner developed the training. The purpose of interval training is to develop speed by running for short distances at a speed significantly higher than the normal strong race pace, with these short runs separated by intervals of easy running or jogging.

So here’s what I am going to do today:

Run 10 mins easy

1st Fartlek: 2 mins fast and then 2 mins slow

2nd Fartlek: 2 mins fast and then 2 mins slow

3rd Fartlek: 2 mins

Run 10 mins easy

I have been planning on doing this for a week and I keep putting it off. I”m not sure why, I just think this will be so hard so I am procrastinating big time. But that stops today. I am going to do it!

Wish me luck! I will update this post after I finish and let you how I did.

Okay I did it!

WOW, that was just as awful as I expected. But the point is I did it and I didn’t die. Doing the sprints were so hard but actually the worst part was having to run the last 10 mins after the three sprints. I was basically shuffling. I think an old man in a walker could have past me. The training manuals say I should do that once a week so we will see if I can stay motivated to do it!

Thanks for checking back in!

I had the sweetest afternoon with my boys yesterday and it was so sweet because we did nothing. The Christmas season brings so much activity and so many events. Always something to do and someplace to go. But in all the busyness the simple  joy and peace of just going to the local park and playing can get lost.

I had nothing planned so we walked leisurely to the park discussing the important topics of Christmas lights, the buried treasure we would find in the sand, and the friends that might be there. There was nobody to meet and no agenda once we got there. It was perfect.

The boys slide down slides, climbed the jungle gyms, which we of course pretended were pirate ships, and they flew in the sky like Buzz Light Year on the swings. Then we moved to the grass and played baseball with a small red ball and an oversize shovel. It here with my boys playing in the sun that the sweetness of the moment really hit me. I felt so blessed, so fortunate, and so gratful for the life God has given me.

So today, tomorrow, or Saturday I challenge you to do nothing. Stay home and just play with your kids. Or go to the park with no plans to meet anyone and no agenda except to just enjoy playing. Don’t take pictures, or tweet, or updated your FaceBook status. Just be present in the moment and I promise you will have the sweetest, most memorable time.