Sunday, January 30, 2011

Signs of the Time

We recently took a cross country road trip to see the in-laws and had to snap a few photos to document all the crazy things we saw. Who knew a 20 minute country drive could be so entertaining.

Deer at a watering hole...

Old windmills are the greatest photo op ever. I never get tired of seeing them!

This creative rancher anchored his corner post with a small bolder. People in agriculture are never short on creativity!!! (Look close to see the wire wrapped around the rock that connects it to the post)

And of course, the endless country trail. You never know what you might find but it's bound to be interesting and entertaining to say the least!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Kitchen Reveal - BEFORE AND AFTER!!!

We finally finished our house remodel after 18 months of destruction, construction, and general mess. What a relief it is to come home and not clean up saw dust and drywall mess. We haven't got curtains and artwork, etc... back up but we are getting closer to being done! Thought I would share some kitchen before and after photos. It's still remarkable to me and hard to believe the transformation it made!

Here are a few early photos from when I first rented the house back in 2000. After Gail and I got married, we did some minor updates to get by until "someday". I believe the beautiful green oven (with matching sink) quit working and that started the whole process. We got rid of the lovely wall paper and put drywall over the old paneling. A new backsplash and countertop did wonders for the look but it was still a TINY little one butt kitchen!

No... we don't let our children climb ladders unsupervised, and yes... that is Allison about 7 years ago!!! Always has and always will be a great helper!!!

Right before tearing out the kitchen...
This shows the old walls that separated the kitchen, living room and laundry area. They are all gone now and it totally changed the look!
Here we are during the destuction phase.... What a mess we lived in for so long. But TOTALLY worth it!
We spent a few months eating out of the new laundry room while the old kitchen was torn out!

And I will leave you with one last shot to drool over. I know I do everyday when I come home. I LOVE LOVE LOVE our new space!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

2010 Mileage Review

Thanks to Daily Mile (think facebook for athletes), I can log all my runs and look back on times, mileage, calories burned, etc... I set out for a lofty goal of 500 miles last January. Since I had only run off and on for a few months prior to this, it was a shot in the dark as to how I would do. As you can see from the chart below, I started out pretty strong but faded fast.
January thru March was a real confidence building phase. My longest run was 10 miles and it totally changed my perspective. I found difficulty making time for runs in the spring, with lack of daylight, long work hours, Gail's work schedule, kids activities, house remodeling, and a whole host of other life chores that always took precedence. I don't blame any of them. It was my choice, but I do realize that a 30-60 minute break makes for a much happier and less stressed me.
It's funny to me when I look back my progress. At first, the thought of a 5k (3.1 miles) was daunting, if not impossible. I distinctly remember being so proud that I could run a whole mile without stopping. And then two. And then I signed up for my first 5k and thought if I just finished I would be happy. Now I come home and the kids ask how far I ran and I say "JUST three". Now six seems respectable and three is what you do if you are in a hurry. I suppose it continues on with unlimited boundaries and that's why they have half and full marathons, ultras, iron man races, etc...
You will also notice in the monthly graph that I made a comeback at the end of the year. I managed to make it to a total of 300 miles for the year, which I am very happy with, and I have been blessed with good weather this winter to allow me to keep it up. My confindence continues to grow and I "want" to lace up, rather than feeling like I "have" to lace up. I couldn't do it without the support of my family... especially Gail.
I think 600 is a realistic goal this year and I hope to develop and maintain a consistent enough base to someday run a half marathon. But above all, I just want to feel better, set a healthy example for my kids, and take 30 minutes out of the day for some down time. What are you doing this year to take steps to a healthier YOU?