Friday Five: Goals for 2015

i just have to start by saying: how hard is it to come back to work on the day after New Year’s?! i mean, even though it’s a Friday and the weekend is fingertip-reach close, this day is totally killing me. i cannotttt.

hope you all had safe & wonderful New Year’s Eves and days, friends. mine were both lovely and included running (both days) and some great girl time with wonderful friends…like this gem of a girlfriend, who always makes my life that much brighter. so thankful to have closed out 2014 and ushered in 2015 with one of my favorite people in the universe.

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my New Year’s was perfect: champagne (with lychees, mmm) and dinner at a local Thai restaurant we love, followed by some low-key parties right in my apartment building. good friends, no craziness or lines or high heels or cab-worrying involved…it was great. i saw all these girls decked out in miniature dresses and sky-high heels and bare legs — it was freeeezing here, mind you — and was so, so thankful for my boyfriend jeans and Chuck Taylors and faces i loved and impromptu apartment bachata dancing. such a good night.

so, i didn’t think i was going to write a “goals for this year” sort of post, but after i saw that the ladies are doing that for their Friday linkup this week, i figured i’d jump on in.

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ONE: Have a great year of running, including running the marathon in October. i’m starting off 2015 feeling so strong and happy about where i’m at with my running, and i’m praying i remain injury free and continue to feel so good. i really want to run the marathon in October this year that i was forced to defer from last year (injury, boo), so here’s to hoping i’m able to accomplish that.

TWO: Healthier eating. i eat super healthy most of the time, but we all have our own struggles with defining this for ourselves, and i’m not happy with some of my choices and want to change them. less alcohol, less sugar, less snacking. healthy, balanced meals. i want to be in the best shape i can for my running, and after a rough week of indulging this past week, i’m feeling ready to commit to changing these patterns.

THREE: More focus on my spiritual life. get involved in a church again, start reading my Bible regularly. live out what i say i believe, every single day of my life.

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FOUR: School. this is my last semester of classes (woot!), but i still have the monster of a clinical internship looming ahead of me — and, quite frankly, it’s stressing me out. i need to make figuring this out a priority, as i’m not sure how it’s going to fit into my life, but i know that it MUST. i need to finish this degree and get started on that career!

FIVE: WRITE. i said i was going to write more in 2014, and i did: more blogging, more creative writing, more trying to figure out how to find various outlets for my personal writing. i want to continue to commit to this and focus on it and hopefully see it take off even more in 2015.

i feel like i could keep going here — i want to write about love and friendship and making it an extension of all the great things from 2014, because i had so many awesome things this past year — but this is the Friday Five, soooo…there ya go.

happy almost weekend, friends, and happy 2015.

what’s one of your goals for this year?

WILW: Christmas (Eve) edition

happy & Merry & all things glorious Christmas Eve to you, my lovely friends! whether i know you in my real life or have had the pleasure of “meeting” you via the blogosphere, i’m thankful to have so many absolutely incredible people in my world and wish you all the cheeriest, loveliest, most blessed of Christmases and holiday seasons.

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when you have a full week off and you’re able to use your time to spend however you so desire, with the people you want to see, well — you can’t help loving everything. i’m basically having the best week ever.

*Jesus. because although there are a million and one little & big things to love about Christmas — the spirit of the season; the indelible magic in the air; the shimmer of white lights glittering in the darkness; a cozy sense of belonging when you’re sharing time and space with the people you love most — no matter how precious & warm & all-things-lovely these moments may be, Christmas will always start and end with the birth of Christ, for me. He is my joy and my salvation; he is my hope in all things; He is my wonderful savior. anything good and lovely i have been given is because of Him, and i truly believe that the reason i have the most wonderful people in my life is because God chose to bless me beyond measure in this way. for me, Christmas is a time to love Christ, and then love the people i hold dear and count them as my most cherished blessings.

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*friends. i know i am a broken record with the whole “i have the best girlfriends in the world” thing — which is fast becoming a theme on this blog — but i really believe it’s true. [see point above for reason.] girls’ nights just make my life such a lovely one to live.

photo 1so thankful for these amazing ladies! and for our new little addition to girls’ night, lil Mr. Henry, my bff’s baby (who i confiscate as much as possible). this little guy just melts my heart, and i’m hoping his first words are “Auntie Shoshi.” still working on that one.

isn’t my best friend the cutest mom ever? love you baybay!

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henry2baby jumping jacks. it’s a thing. can’t start ’em too early!

oh, and speaking of baby workouts…

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my friend Jessie made this delicious bourbon cocktail for us that we all loved, too, and it was so easy: bourbon, gingerale and a splash of cran. perfect holiday drink.

photo(10)oh, and the above spread pretty much displays my dinner every night this week. this is my fave way to do a meal.

*home. i love being home at the lake. fireplace & puppies & sipping Bailey’s w/ almond milk with my parents at night and having bro-sis time and wearing gym clothes all day…this is my kind of life.

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this is my current blogging state, as we speak:
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*running/workouts. they’ve been consistently great — i haven’t missed a day since i’ve been home! Saturday was freezing here, so i hit a 7-miler (in just under an hour, which made me happy) on a treadmill, and it wasn’t as horrible as i expected (given that i haven’t made the treadmill jump very often this winter, as we’ve been fortunate to have pretty mild weather so far).

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Sunday i ran 7-8 miles outside, which felt amazingggg, and Monday i did an hour of total body workout at the gym, followed by 2 quick miles on a treadmill. yesterday i ran 4.5 miles on a treadmill and walked a half mile at an incline, and then did a half hour of abs (planks and decline bench). i’m pretty happy with this week’s workouts so far, i have to say, and i’m feeling so great with the running.

my best friend asked me the other night (while i was playing with lil Henry!) if i got upset when i didn’t run…like, if i needed to have it in my life and felt “off” if i didn’t.

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errrr let’s just leave it at that. 🙂

i could keep going but i need to get to the gym and start my day, sooooo have a wonderful, safe, merry & bright Christmas Eve, my friends! love you all.

i’ll leave you with a fabulous addition to my “feet in the sidewalk art” collection that my lovely friend Lauren took for me last weekend. so thoughtful, and i totally love this one. i’m hoping LOVE is my Christmas super power.

superpowersxo

SBC: What I’m Reading

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today’s Sept. Blogging Challenge: What i’m reading right now.

i’ve always been a super avid/obsessive reader, since i first learned to string sounds together and make sense of words and sentences. this quickly turned into a favorite pastime/childhood hobby, which led me to want to be a writer at a very young age and craft stories and poems of my own. i’ve always been the girl who could lose entire afternoons curled up in my room with a book, and it’s rare to find me without one.

i wish i had more time to lay around and read these days, and i’m looking forward to getting on a train upstate after work tonight and opening up this book again, which i recently started reading at my mom’s suggestion:

9781476725161_custom-70f7864a7dc7dc9d9180b7e28e6d7c018d675a06-s99-c85it’s an intense memoir written by a young woman who was kidnapped in Somalia while doing charity work, and it’s basically any young traveling girl’s worst nightmare of an occurrence. it’s one of those books i’m going to be really glad i read, but it’s sort of horrifying at the same time, thinking of this happening to someone my age who had devoted her life to social justice in a foreign country. at least i know it has a happy ending, since she lived to write this book with her husband. that’s a big relief.

i’m also reading Philippians right now, which is one of my favorite books of the Bible, and has some undeniably incredible truths that always hit home for me, like:

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phillipians-4-8_copyalso reading: a whole mess of your blogs (duh), my school books, Women’s Health, and Thought Catalog.

variety is definitely the spice of my life.

What are you reading these days? Throw some good book suggestions at me, please!!

SBC: Thankful Thursday

so i’m returning to the SBC (September Blog Challenge) posts and hitting today’s Thankful Thursday. i always enjoy posts that revolve around counting my blessings, as sitting down to purposefully and intentionally reflect upon the good in my everyday life is a habit i should probably engage in daily. it’s amazing how much that can boost your mood and alter your perspective.

today, i’m thankful for:

  • friends who not only read and support my blog, but who also contribute to it by finding images they knowi’d like and sending them to me “for your blog”! like these, courtesy of one of my dearest friends:

    adding her feet to my sidewalk wisdom collection:sidewalk
    and sending me this, because she and i both have the same gypsy soul thing going on.photosuper sweet and much appreciated. it’s a wonderful thing, to have such thoughtful friends and feel so very loved by those who know you best. 🙂

  • for a job in which i get to interact with a wide variety of people on a daily basis, and constantly meet new faces to add to my collection of friends.
  • for Indian Summer/early fall days. September has been lovely in NYC thus far, andi simply adore the crisp, golden loveliness of Autumn in NY.photo
  • for becoming an “aunt” sometime today — my bestest friend in the entire world is currently in labor!
  • for a desk with a clear view of the Statue of Liberty. sometimes i take for granted that i look at this amazing landmark all day, every day.
  • for the quirky & humorous things that make a business’s storefront window memorable & photo-worthy:
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  • and most of all, for promises like this:
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Tell me something for which you’re thankful today!

SBC: Fave Quotes

happy Friday, friends!

best thing i’ve seen online today:

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i immediately texted this to one of my best friends, who is a sucker for drunken only McDonald’s, captioning: “the only way you’d ever get me to go to your favorite place.” i think McD’s should consider adding this to their menu, no? it’d be a great way to reach the non-fast-food-eating public… just sayin’. add some dollar wine to the menu, and you might be onto something, golden arches.

mmmmkay, sooooo….switching gears. today’s September Blogging Challenge is “Your favorite quote(s).”

another toughie. as a literature/writing major and one who counts writing as her lifelong passion, i could fill volumes of my favorite quotes and sayings.

here are a few u really like, off the top of my head:

believe,quotes,quirky,simple,smile,alice-ff86cd1cd83240d10676409e40a3b759_hcenteronwheelsPrLg_26ad3c55-feec-4efd-bf69-1f9b9d4db1dc_1024x1024

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these are some of my fave arrangements of words i’ve ever found. 🙂

hope your weekends are off to a fabulous start, friends!

Your turn: share a quote, or song lyric, or part of a poem, that hits you at your core and makes your heart happy!

if this weekend lasted a lifetime i’d be a-ok

this was what the majority of my last two days looked like:

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did i mention my parents essentially live in paradise? and now you see why i go upstate so often.

this weekend, i lay on the boat. i read on the boat. i drove the boat. i went swimming off the boat. i napped on the boat. i tanned on the boat. i had it realllly rough.

i’m hoping this was an indication of how glorious this summer will shape up to be, from start to finish. i plan to spend as much time as possible at the lake or at beaches with the girls.

i also rocked a great, sunny, hilly run on Saturday morning: 9 miles around the lakes, stopping to take in the cozy sweetness of this little spot at the next lake over:

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i don’t even mind the hills when i’m running in such a magical place. it’s amazing how a beautiful landscape and the pureness of nature can make you feel so alive, so right, like the world just suddenly makes sense and you’re beyond blessed to be a part of it and take it all in.

the run felt great and i’m happy to be entirely pain-free. i saw a foot doctor and it was just a minor stress fracture, which seems to have gone away. phew.

in other news, i’m really wishing i had one of these to use on the lake this summer:

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anyone done any standup paddleboarding before? i realllly want to try and am considering making the investment. ps, that picture above could totally be me and one of my closest friends: she’s the blonde doing the crazy yoga pose, i’m the brunette tanning and wishing that was as easy as running. typical.

i also finished two books this weekend: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky,

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a sort of coming-of-age novel tracing the development of a young biracial girl struggling to find her identity in a world that’s trying to tell her who she is, while simultaneously dealing with a family tragedy of which she’s the sole survivor. it’s an easy read but a heavy story, and i enjoyed it;

and The Alchemist,

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a mystical, whimsical allegory about a young shepherd boy on an epic quest for his Personal Legend (his life passion, his deepest yearnings, the essence of his identity). it’s about growth, and learning about both yourself and the world at large, and about perspective and loss and love and yearnings and God and the all-encompassing concept of being a person, one unique person, with a purpose and an persevering heart.

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it’s philosophical and religious and introspective and creative and just a really interesting, unique story. i found myself highlighting soooo many passages in this book, and i love how the overriding theme is that of faith. there were a lot of Biblical references and allusions throughout the novel. the main quote upon which it is based is from the Bible:

lakequotei feel like i read this book at the perfect time in my life, and even if it wasn’t intended as a “Christian” novel, my personal take-aways all revolve around reflections on my faith and what i believe my life passions are, and it definitely inspired me to spend more time pursuing what i love.

don’t you just love when a book makes you think? 🙂

hope you had lovely weekends, friends!

Questions:
Tell me something great about your weekend!
What was the last good book you read?

Anyone know anything about standup paddleboarding?!

4 books {that changed my life}

4 books?? i can only choose 4? the literature major/passionate writer/wordnerd of a bookworm in me aches to list about 100 books you need to read tomorrow, so this is quite the little challenge to choose 4 faves.

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1. the Bible. guide for life, book of ultimate love and sacrifice and hope, the one constant i can read and re-read and seek out time and time again. stranded on a deserted island, this would be one thing i’d bring, without question.along with a boy who also loved the Bible, and running shoes, and sunscreen,and bathing suits…

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2. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
i read this in high school and remember thinking my entire world was different now that i knew Scarlett and fell in love with Rhett the way we so wish she would have: unselfishly, unconditionally, utterly perfectly. i remember laying in the living room crying so hard while reading this book that my mom came in and suggested i take a break. it consumed me, this story. i was there, living her life, wearing her ball gowns and batting my eyes and making men fall hopelessly in love with me during a time of utter tragedy in our country’s history. only i would have kept him — of this i’m certain.

you should be kissed ofteni really need to read this again.

3. White Oleander by Janet Fitch. no book has ever haunted me the way this unthinkably raw debut novel has. no prose has ever taken on the wings of pure poetry and nosedived itself beneath my skin until it sears through my veins and dances behind my eyes at night. no words have ever danced alive on the page for me with such aching, heart-wrenching glory; no other story has ever stabbed me just-so in the heart. because of both her beautiful, poignant writing style and the way she crafts her characters, this book will forever remain iconic in my eyes. it’s bittersweet and tragic; it’s wondrous and lovely; it’s hopeful, despite all suggestions of the world as such a lonely, arbitrary place. it’s incredible.

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4. The Great Gatsby by the incredible F. Scott Fitzgerald. i feel hopelessly enamored with this story in 10th grade English class when my eyes were first opened to the wonder that is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s storytelling. i adore his portrayal of the outlandish Jazz Age/Roaring 20s in New York City. he wrote that his desire in crafting this novel was to write  “something new—something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned,” and i’d say he absolutely achieved that goal. it’s not a love story, but its very pulse aches with an unrequited love; it is a period piece, a story of decadence and the elusive construction — or deconstruction — of the American Dream; a tale of recklessness and debauchery and loneliness, smack dab in the midst of revelry. it’s a  commentary on chasing the wind, and it’s beautiful in its sheer ability to deliver characters who say things like:

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because people like us, well — we read that, and the word embed themselves into our being because we know, as we think of that person’s face, that we wish that, too.

i can write my own commentaries on the books i love all the day long, so i’ll stop before this becomes a novella.

Your turn! Share your fave books with me.

i like these things {picture post #2}

* needles and ink. pooooosssiblyyy soon, maybe together, a little modified. no, i’m not jumping on the anchor bandwagon. yes, it has personal meaning for me — a few meanings, related to both my family and my faith.

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*wish this was me. those pants. the shoes. that setting. nice motivation for working on balance. or going to Colorado. or buying hightops or working on my flexibility or stalking down those pants immediately.

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*perspective. funny, how such a little goes such a long way. when i was stressed as a teenager, my mom used to try to help me with this by saying, “well, at least you’re passing life.” my best friend and i used to jokingly say this to each other all the time (especially when we questioned whether “flying colors” were necessary for this “life passing” thing). but it’s so, so true. in the grand scheme of things, well…usually, this too shall pass. and from it, we will grow.

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*running.
so this is how i’m hoping i feel about my 13.1 next weekend:

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i Hundo P believe this and have felt it ring so true in my own life, especially during my training all last summer and fall. i’d be delighted to keep this mentality throughout the coming week and into next Sunday’s race. my life is wonderful. i love running. when i’m running, my life is wonderful. and ps, you still have four miles to go.

*belief. because if someone loved us enough to die for us and He believes we’re worth that much, well…we really should work on believing we are, too.

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*take a chance. so much of life is about risks, and chances, and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in hopes for something glittering and wonderful to happen. i don’t know about you, but i’m all about the beauty of taking a chance.  follow that dream, even if it seems impossible. tell someone how you feel, even if it scares you. take the leap, even if the landing is uncertain and the fall might not be soft.

because you never know what day could be the best day of your life.

takeachance
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xoxo.

 

Friday Five {2.28.14}

1. holy sickness. i can’t even begin to explain to you guys how rough this past week has been. pretty sure i haven’t been this down-for-the-count in a good 15 years or so. thankfully, my bosses are so understanding and my parents’ house is only a couple of hours away, soooo i hopped a train upstate on Wednesday and i’m camped out at the lake house to ride this out.

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i’m on the mend, but it’s been a misery trip for a week +. if i die at this point, i’m pretty sure it’ll be from the amount of drugs i have swimming around in my system. this has been a humbling lesson in not taking my health for granted and in knowing when to slow down, which can be very difficult for me. laying in bed for a week is my idea of pure torture, and although i’ve managed some scattered workouts, they’ve been much fewer and less intense, and there’s been very little running. like i said, misery.

2. out on the town. i did manage to get gussied up and drag myself to a charity gala last Saturday night, even though i didn’t feel great (and woke up feeling 100 times worse the next morning). this is the 3rd year i’ve attended the annual Big Night Out, a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC (for which i am a volunteer), held at Cipriani’s in the Financial District. it’s such a fun event at a beautiful venue, with poker tables and drinks and a silent auction and dancing…and i had a new dress, and i’d gotten my hair done that day…’nuff said. no sickness was going to keep me indoors that night.

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3. read. 50 Rules for Daughters on Thought Catalog. read it if you have a daughter, or if you are a daughter, or know any women or girls or daughters. it’s really good. i especially like that it’s written by a man, who has taken great pains to put together a list of “this is what girls should be like” for his two daughters. it’s honest, it’s charming, it’s funny, it’s sweet, and it’s heartfelt. i probably need to print this out and hang it on my wall. although i’d be wary to ask my dad to ever write one of these…

4. believe. i know i’m guilty of getting so caught up in the busy-ness of life and feeling frustrated by what seems like my inability to chase my dreams or pursue my passions, when i have so many things i have to do right in front of me. i forget to revel in the very goodness of God on the most simplistic level and find the essence of my identity there, so caught up am i in what i want and in my selfish feelings of unfulfillment. God’s plan is always perfect; our hesitance to trust Him is what hinders us.

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5. truth of the week.

doyoursquatssounds about right.

Question:
Tell me the high and low of your week! My high was the gala (and getting to spend time at home!), and my low was definitely this ridiculous sick thing i have going on!

xoxo

The Friday 5 (on Saturday!)

(well, it shouuuullld have been my Friday post…’cept i realize i never finished this last night, so now it’s spilled over into Saturday. whoops. 🙂 better late than never, right?)

i decided i’m changing up my “Fun Facts Friday” posts to “The Friday 5.” they generally end up being 5 random things about my life anyway, so i’m liking this better.

1. i’m on a (forced) running rest. i haven’t run since Sunday — that’s entirely out of character and 100% attributed to the sickness. running + hacking cough does not = a good time. while i greatly dislike not running, i’ve managed to get some decent workouts in this week, sick and all:

Monday:  winter walk around and across Grafton Lake
Tuesday: rest. we had a blizzard and i nearly died just walking down the icy sidewalks.
Wednesday: 50 minutes full-body elliptical, 20 minutes incline walking on a treadmill, 30 minutes circuit intervals (kettlebells, wall/ball jumps, box jumps, burpees, back rows, planks)
Thursday: boot camp circuit training (kicked my butt- super sore today)
Friday: another rest day, as my body is killing me from yesterday and i was up all night coughing.

so it was a lighter workout week for me this week for sure, and while i definitely miss the running, it would have been a bad move to push myself. it’s probably good for me to get comfortable with periods of rest, as i tend to freak out a bit if i can’t work out every day, and that obsessive mentality might not be the healthiest. certainly motivating, but possibly a bit on the edge of crazy. 🙂

2. i am such a dog person. we have always been a dog-keeping family. there was Spanky, my first black lab when i was 2-3 years old (guess who named her), and Rusty the mutt who ran away incessantly, and Oreo the English Springer who really needed to live in the country, and Missy the sweet Shih Tzu who was such a foundation part of our family that we had to get two to replace her, the adorable Moka and Kayla (who you’ve seen pop up around here before):

mokaylaand Ryan has this amazing, bumbling, energetic, love-the-heck out of you Bernese Quinn/Quinners/Quinny, who i affectionately refer to as “my niece” and he equally-affectionately calls “the cow.”

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from our snow romp last weekend.

i love everything about Quinners — except that i can’t go within 10 feet of her without her peeing everywhere. she’s frenetically obsessed with me and just can’t control herself, no matter how many times a day she sees me, so petting her is an issue. thank God i don’t have that effect on boys.

all this to say, i desperately wish i had the space and time to have a dog in NYC, because i am crushing on this breed sooooo harddddd:

berniea Bernedoodle: Bernese-Poodle mix. i cannot. can you? that face. must.own.one.day.

3. reading. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald. i’m a big Fitzgerald fan and love how he writes and brings his characters to life. this is the third of his books i’ve read (Gatsby and Tender is the Night), and to me, it surfaces the themes of the intricacies of love and intimacy, the institution of marriage, and the all-imposing question of, “Exactly what does one do with oneself?”ahhh, there it is. the ever-imposing philosophical question of life.

it’s set in NYC in the 1920s, the wondrous Jazz Age, detailing the life of the uber-chic do-nothing-with-themselves socialite crowd, and seems to me to be a bit of a mockery of the idleness of such a life. i’m enjoying it, both his writing and the frivolity of his characters, which he fleshes out with such great complexity it makes me insanely envious. i so enjoy reading truly magnificent writers, whose prose springs off the page and makes you question everything you ever thought you knew about good writing. i’m such a fan, Fitz.

desire4. faith.

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5. favorite thing for the weekend: dancing. can’t get enough. i have two salsa events on tap for tonight: one from 5-9pm, the Capital Region Salsa Social, and the second from 9-?? potentially 8-9 hours of dancing…bliss.

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happy Saturday, lovies!

What’s on tap for your weekend?