Thursday, December 29, 2011

True Gift

There is nothing like gaining 10lbs over Christmas break due to neighbors, friends, and family delivering baked goods. I'm giving out candy to all who need or want it. Be careful, it just might be shoved in your purse without you knowing.

Every morning I wake up in hopes that it's still Christmas. So I turn on the tree lights and start up the fire. Pure joy. Our annual tradition took place on Christmas Eve with a thieving secret Santa kinda game. Except grams and pops provide all the gifts (gift cards this year!). We enjoyed the traditional baked potato dinner and battled at some Christmas Bingo. Can't beat it.

The family gathered for church that evening and made a bet on who would drip wax on themselves first. Grams blew hers out before the song ended, in fear she would lose. As you can see... it's a competitive family.

Christ was present that evening, not a question about it. My soul felt the worth. My heart was full and my eyes were constantly blinking, holding back the tears. I'm thinkin the older I get, the more I get it.

It wasn't about giving this year as much as receiving. Receiving the true gift. An eternal gift that nothing can compare to. Im thankful for our Savior.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Oreo Pops

Here is another fun, ridiculously easy snack directly from Pinterest. They are a piece of cake to make, and delicious. If only they came gluten free, I'd be in heaven!

Last Friday, the Wells Fargo Christmas party was at my house. I decided to throw together a candy buffet. The white chocolate dipped Joe-Joe's were a hit! All it takes is some store bought oreos, candy melts, and some candy rods. Totaling for less than $10. 

1. Lay a sheet of wax paper. 
2. Gently push the sticks through the cookie.
3. Melt the chocolate bark for 1 minute 30 sec. Stir, then repeat every 30 seconds until completely melted. 
4. Dip each oreo into the chocolate, either covering it entirely or half way. 
5. Add some sprinkle and lay them on the wax paper to harden.
 6. Within 10 minutes they are ready! 

The Candy Cane Joe-Joe's are the way to go! 

I wish I took a picture of them arranged on the candy buffet, but I am sure I will make them again. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Decorating Extravaganza!

I can't believe Christmas is right around the corner. Wasn't it just Halloween?! I have a new addiction... Pinterest. This site distracts me from the million other things that I should be doing. It's creating new habits and hobbies for me to take on , in my spare time, which is rare! Visit my site and check out all the corkboards I've designed.

Here is a fun, super easy, craft I threw together one evening. I saw this idea at Joann's and couldn't believe how much it was. After Thanksgiving I went shopping and purchased all the materials for less than $15 dollars.  The cardboard letter was on sale for $2.99, garland $9.99, and the burlap was cut funky so it totaled out at $1.99. STEAL!

Here is my version.

So easy, so simple. I love plain but creative. This women is a phenominal blogger, with a huge heart. Check her out for fun and easy ideas!

Here is how I did it:

I bought the garland of holly and cut each piece off to fit in various places. It was originally $24.99 but like I said before, I got it on sale for $9.99!

Just a little bit of glue here and there. Tah dah! The burlap is my fav. I could put it all over my house.
The "P" I made for a friend and it was a piece of cake to hang. Other letters could be a challenge. I had a difficult time deciding whether or not I wanted to glue the holly on the sides of the letter since it is three-dimensional. After all I chose not to. Now would be a good time to buy this stuff (save for next year) since Christmas decor is on sale! Good luck crafting :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Million To-Do's

I am leaving tomorrow for the ASHA Conference

I'm workin like a mad woman.

My bags aren't packed.

My nerves are kickin'.

My mood is odd. Kinda spastic, or wait, maybe that's normal.

I'm southbound in 12 hours.

Yee Haw!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Two Cities 1/2 Marathon Review

The 10 year tradition of the Two Cities Full/Half and Ultra Marathon was this past weekend; Next year the race will be on November 4th, 2012. This race always draws a pretty large crowd of competitive runners. This is my second year participating in the race and I loved every minute of it.

Friday and Saturday was the race expo downtown at Chukchansi Ballpark.

The expo was held on the concourse, entering on one side and exiting on the other. Most expos tend to be very crowded with runners anxious to get their bibs, and any last minute gadgets and goos before the race. It was well organized but cold.

Let me start off by saying, this year I was not nearly as prepared for the race.  My training was down due to a demanding amount of school and work. Not to mention I signed up on Wednesday, 4 days before the race. I ran into a friend who knew someone that injured her knee a few weeks prior so I gladly paid a discount for her bib.

The Course
The course wasn't bad until the last 6 miles where there was a steady incline to the finish. Throughout the race there were plenty of water/gatorade stations. I was surprised, at mile 5 there was a fruit stand handing out fresh cut fruit! There were a lot more spectators lining the streets this year. It always helps to have a crowd cheering you on!

The half marathon was an out and back. The full and ultra traveled through Clovis. *Hint* Two Cities.

The weather was perfect. This was one of my main concerns not knowing if it was going to rain or not. I lucked out! Usually I sweat when it snows, so I try and tough it out in cold races by wearing shorts and a tank. There was no way that was gonna happen for this race. I survived in a long sleeve with running pants.

Mile 5 1/2
Mile 10
My brother (Marshall) and sister-in-law (Courtney) dominated this race, finishing under 2 hours!
Friends, Gary & Nicole did an awesome job running too! This is Nicole's second year with Two Cities!
Mile 12. Almost finished!
The finish line was interesting... kind of a bummer if you ask me. Spectators stand behind barricades and cheer you on for the last mile but can no longer see you once you pass the finish line. The food was provided by Pardini's Catering and it totally hit the spot. After grabbing my food, medal and hideous sweatshirt I jetted out.

Heather for the day!
The medal this year was almost identical to last years, besides the ribbon. 

Overall, it was a great race. I know I would have regretted it if I didn't run. My knees and shins killed during the last three miles but I finished strong in 2:11:49. It is really nice having a local race within 3 miles from my house. I didn't have to worry about traffic or parking. I will definitely run it again.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Survived!

the 3.1 hellish miles...

Leaping over fire, creeping along quivering cable, crawling through tangled nets, hurdling over barricades then crawling under barbed wire, and swimming under muddy mayhem are a few of the obstacle course challenges proceeding a well deserved beer at the finish line.

After signing my life away, I knew it was official.

There were many participants who took this a lot more seriously than I did, decking themselves out in costumes or choosing to wear hardly anything at all. This is my only regret of the day. Better believe, I will be fully equipped and ready to impress next year. 

So the race started off with 1.5 miles of running, praying you didn't fall into a ground squirrels hole. 

Then came the rugged obstacle course. 

I didn't have a specific time to finish but merely just TO finish. And I did, 41:22!

I swam through the mud pit hovered by barbed wire and passed the finish line with a reasonable time only to find out my shower afterwards was a fire hose. It blasted the group of finishers in attempts to remove the thickness of mud clinging to us.  

This gentleman was educating me on how to hose off. I tried my hardest not to stare at his spandex.

My clothes made the trash and my shoes were donated to a charity. 

The Warrior Dash  was one of the best races I have ever done. It was by far one of the most organized events as well. I encourage you to sign up for a good time! See you next year!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Trunk r' Treat

I spent my halloween at New Covenant Community Church, my home church, for a local outreach. NewCov was the first church in Fresno to start this event several years ago. The purpose is for families to bring their children in a more safe and fun filled environment in hope that the light of Jesus would shine through volunteers who put it on.

175 decorated cars.

Tons of candy.


Dozens of crazy carnies.

The most popular theme this year... Angry Birds!

I'm always impressed by the talented trunk decorators. And then there's me...

I was a pumpkin. 

Some probably figured, with my pumpkin addiction I'd eventually turn into one. 
They were right.

My lovely cousin dressed as a nerd for the evening. Note* that was her REAL outfit for 12 years of her life! Representing school uniforms!

A few of my favorite little critters came by towards the end to get some candy. Can they get any cuter?

All in all, it was a blast this year. So many smiles, encouraging words, and beautiful families. Can't wait for next year!