24 October 2013

travel guide to norway.

Today I'm sharing my travel guide to Kjeragbolten in Norway over on Dirtbag Darling, a fun outdoor blog. Check it out here!

23 October 2013

we ran and ran and ran.

Yay! We finished our first half marathon a couple weekends ago. Both Josh and I have been runners for a while because we've both played soccer (and other sports) all our lives, but this was a slightly new adventure. Yeah, soccer requires a lot of running, but it does not require running 13.1 miles at the same speed without stopping. In that sense, training for a half marathon was new territory. Even though we aren't super experienced long distance runners, running is one of our top choices for daily exercise because we can do it just about anywhere outside, it's a good work out, and it's free (except for the running shoes). Plus, we both really enjoy running. 

A half marathon seemed to me like a really cool challenge. My mom has done several 13.1 mile races and I was inspired! Now that I'm not participating in organized sports, I wanted something to keep me exercising daily. So I got Josh to sign up with me for the Prairie Fire Half Marathon and we started training in early August. I roughly followed this training plan, so I was running about 3-4 times a week, including one long run. I usually didn't do any sort of weight training, but next time I definitely would! A few weeks before the half marathon I started doing yoga twice a week, which helped with the stretching aspect of my training schedule. Each Saturday I would increase my long run by one mile. My first long run was 5 miles and my last long run before the race was about 11 miles. I usually really enjoyed my long runs. Okay, some were super windy and difficult. But overall I loved getting into a groove, spending time outside, challenging myself physically and having time to think or listen to music.

For me, the toughest part of the training was towards the end when I was running longer distances and my knees started aching during and after runs. Occasionally my knees even hurt throughout the day. Like I said before, I really should have done some weight training. I think that would have taken some stress off my knees. Josh ran pretty much as often as I did and he ran similar distances. He usually ran a mile longer than me on our long runs. I think he’s just a little more ambitious than me! In looking back, Josh thinks he probably should have done more varied exercises rather than just running. Overall, though, he felt ready for the race!

The week before our race we took it easy. We ran a few days and did some cross training, but nothing above 4 miles.  We also sat in the hot tub and the steam room at the YMCA to let our muscles relax. We had a relaxing weekend and then woke up excited and anxious 
Sunday morning at 6:30am.

We're pretty lucky that we live three blocks from the start line of the race. We ate a little breakfast Sunday morning and then walked over to the race. It was chilly! I was wearing running shorts, a tank top, and a long sleeve shirt, which turned out to be a perfect combination. I was cold on our walk, but felt fine during the race. 

We found it exciting to start the race along with a huge mass of people. Josh particularly liked weaving in an out of the mass, passing slower people at the start of the race. Amazingly, Josh and I started running together and ran for about half a mile until the crowd thinned out and Josh took off. I would like to note that I only finished about ten minutes slower than Josh! 

For the first half of the race I was mostly just thinking about the race, the people cheering on the sidelines, and the other runners around me. I didn't really think about how I felt running and my mind didn't wander off much. I was really wrapped up in the whole event. A lot of family and friends of runners were gathered on the sidewalks with funny posters. Our race bibs had our names printed on them, so a few people we didn't know cheered for Josh and me by our name. I found that really encouraging. We also got cheered on by our family! Meme and Will (Josh's Aunt and Uncle) live on the race route, so they were cheering for us with posters around mile 5. I was really looking forward to that and it gave me a little extra pep in my step.

I grabbed water at most of the drink stands and stopped to stretch at one of the stands for about a minute. Other than that, I kept running straight through mile 13.1. My legs were feeling really stiff for the whole second half of the race, but I still found it quite possible to keep moving. Before the race I had an subconscious goal to finish in under 2 hours. After mile 11 I realized that I could definitely make that goal a reality so I sped up a little bit after mile 12 and then kind of sprinted through the finish line. I immediately saw Josh, which made me happy. My final time was 1 hour and 52 minutes! For Josh, the race went pretty smoothly, as well. Some of his favorite parts were passing people and getting to see the sunrise as we ran through downtown Wichita. The first half was a breeze for him, but the second half was more difficult. He had made a subconscious goal to finish under 1 hour and 45 minutes. Josh's final time was 1 hour and 42 minutes so he met his goal, too!

After the race we relaxed, ate some food, and sat in the hot tub at the Y for a while. At different points in the afternoon Josh and I crashed and slept for a couple hours. That was very much needed for our recovery. Since the race two weeks ago I would like to report that I have not gone for a single run (nor has Josh)! This past weekend I played very low key soccer for about 30 minutes and that is the extent of my exercising. Josh played in a more intense soccer game for a couple hours over the weekend, but other than that we've been taking a break from heavy exercising and long runs. I'll admit that my feet have been hurting a little- maybe a strain from the race. After resting and caring for my feet this week I hope to start running a little bit again and doing some other forms of exercise. 

The final verdict: we enjoyed challenging ourselves and completing the race, but it's not exactly our favorite thing ever and we don't plan to do it again anytime soon! Thanks for reading about our half marathon experience!

16 October 2013

project life in 2013: june

week 45
june 3-9
What happened this week? We took Elise on a cabin trip. Then Brad, Georgeann and Mathea arrived. And then Gary and Celeste arrived. We had a fun time hanging out in Oslo with all of them!
Anything special in the spread? I stapled some vellum and some cut out stars to some of the pictures. Nothing too fancy here. I like combing my kraft core kit with the seafoam kit. They blend well.
Favorite photo:  I love the one of Gary and Celeste imitating the statue- they did on several occasions while in Oslo and it always made me smile :)

week 46
june 10- 16
What happened this week? We had a Munch Monday, in which we saw almost all of Munch's paintings. Then we hopped on a train for our Norway in a Nutshell trip to Bergen. After returning from Bergen, Elise left and we had a fun weekend with Gary and Celeste. We toured the Opera house, went to church, enjoyed a picnic while at the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra concert, and had a lovely meal at Tasty Thai.
Anything special in the spread? Not much. The photos make this spread special. I did most of my journaling on the date card. I tucked in a piece of paper from the Opera house and a sticker from the Philharmonic concert.
Favorite photo: It's tough to choose. Maybe the one of Josh, Elise, and me doing cross words on the train because we did so many crosswords on that trip!

week 47
june 17-23
What happened this week? We took Gary and Celeste on a cabin trip to Spikerjernhytte. Afterwards we had to wish them farewell as they left for the next leg of their European trip. It was so great to have the Cranston family with us and we felt a little lonely after they left. Josh and I did some serious cleaning in our apartment before we left for our own trip-a visit with some dear friends in Germany.
Anything special in the spread? I used some thickers to spell "home" on our letter wall. Mostly just photos and kraft or seafoam journaling cards. Simple and sweet.
Favorite photo: The four of us outside the cabin is great. I am also glad to have a picture of me on that colorful wall outside of the bus terminal because I would often see it and want a picture. I never got around to taking one. Finally, the last time I'd be by the wall I asked Josh to take a picture of me.

Well, June down. July, August and September still to go. I've finished all those  pages, so it's just a matter of sharing them here. 

Supplies and Tools: American Crafts thickerswashi tape, paper source labels, pretty paper from Dick Blick, random paper from my stash, Design A and B photo pocket pages (this variety pack), Seafoam core kit, Kraft core kit, Cobalt cardstock, black sharpie, black steadtler fineliner pen, slicker writer pens.

Project Life is a simple scrapbooking system by Becky Higgins.  I am using this system to document our first year of marriage with photos, words and other fun paper stuff.  You can see my other project life pages here.  

14 October 2013

legacy ministries (part 1).

When Joshua and I decided to move to Wichita to be close to his extended family we figured that we'd probably get involved in their church, Church of the Savior (we have), but I had no clue how involved we might become in Legacy Ministries. Church of the Savior started a branch of Legacy in Wichita about 10 years ago and now most of the people that I'm closest to here are deeply involved in Legacy. The purpose of this ministry is to share the love of Jesus with at-risk youth through creativity and community. They do this through summer camps, where kids can learn to bake, paint, sing or act, as well as through a few different programs throughout the year, like GardenWorks, Legacy Stars After School Program, and the Salvation Army Outreach.  

Since we live across the street from the Legacy House it's been natural for us to start doing Legacy stuff. The Legacy House is where a couple of the staff members live (Kenzi and Cora), where a lot of the programs run, and where many a meeting happen. According to Meme, Dan and Lauren, who’ve told me the most about Legacy, I can tell that Church of the Savior is very committed to Legacy and they’ve maintained connections with a lot of the Legacy campers over the years. I seem to learn more and more each week about the history of Legacy and the people they’ve reached. 
I’ve participated a bit in all the year long programs, so I’ll tell you a little about what I know and my experience. (Just to keep in mind, I may not be exactly correct about all the particulars of the projects or this ministry, but I wanted to share some of the details that I do know and the relationships that I’ve made by being a part of Legacy.)

GardenWorks is an urban garden project that employes at-risk youth or teens that might not be able to get a job elsewhere. They work together to plant seeds, tend the crops, and share their produce with the community at weekly farm stands. This summer they had the farm stand on Monday nights and asked costumers to take some produce or homemade pesto and leave a donation if they could. I love garden produce and gardening, so I was delighted to eat the veggies and occasionally help tend the garden or make pesto. Currently we still have a bunch of tomatoes and squash from the garden. Yum! The GardenWorks crew will continue to work in the garden this fall by adding manure, decorating the fence around the garden, planting seeds and possibly hosting a fall food stand to serve soup and bread to neighbors. 
Legacy Stars, the after school program, is a fun, laid-back Monday afternoon hang-out time. Neighborhood kids are welcome to come to Legacy House to make art, bake muffins or read stories. One day we all made little “mailboxes,” really just envelopes made from National Geographic pages, so we could leave each other notes throughout the week. Sometimes kids are content to hang out, talk or get help with their homework. Other days they want to make or bake something. I like the natural spontaneity within the group. I started going to Legacy Stars regularly before I got a job, so once kids learned that I lived across the street they started coming over sometimes to visit me, as well as Lauren, Daniel and Josh. One neighborhood girl has been coming over quite a lot and I’m often amazed that an elementary school kid would want to hang out so often with some newly married 20-somethings. She loves to help us cook and bake, and will often take time to lay in the hammock with me or show us her songs and dances from school. I love getting connected to the people in our neighborhood and Legacy Stars has been a catalyst for that.
While I really want to be regularly involved in GardenWorks and Legacy Stars, the timing makes it too hard now that I work full time. But, on Sunday nights a group from Church of the Savior goes over to hang out with the teens living at the Salvation Army (S.A.) facility, a place for underage drug and alcohol offenders. The guys live at this center, go to high school, and come back to the S.A. facility. They don’t have much freedom or much outside time and I know they get bored in there. These are the same guys that attend the Legacy summer camps and COTS likes to stay connected to them throughout the school year too. I guess the Salvation Army is a Christian program because they guys are required to go to church every Sunday. This year they guys are allowed to go to COTS for church if a S.A. staff person will go with them, which is pretty awesome. To my understanding, Church or the Savior wants to give these guys creative outlets, exposure to the love of Jesus, and a support system they can lean on while they’re in Salvation Army and when they get out.  Sunday nights look like this: 10-12 COTS people break up into three groups to lead activities for the three different groups of guys (arranged according to age). Two groups do some sort of art project, game, or cooking activity, usually accompanied by a small time of sharing, prayer or talking about God. The third group is in the gym playing basketball and maybe praying or chatting. I've been to the Salvation Army four times and plan to make this a priority on Sunday nights. Some weeks I'm just not able too, but I think it's good to take a break every now and then. For the sake of not making this post incredibly long, I'll share more about my S.A. experience later. If you have any questions about Legacy Ministries, feel free to ask or check out their website and blog.
All photos are from the Monday night farm stand back in August.

12 October 2013


Tomorrow Josh and I are running Wichita's Prairie Fire Half Marathon. It's a bit daunting but we've been training consistently since early August, so we should be alright. We think we'll be able finish the race and not feel sore and tired for the following two weeks. Nevertheless we plan to do nothing tomorrow after the run (except maybe grocery shop) and all your prayers & well wishes are appreciated! We're excited that the race course goes right in front of Meme and Will's house. I think they might be able to wave and cheer us on!  I'll make sure to check in next week and tell you how it went. Happy weekend!