Runners Tell All :: My Running Story

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Today I am linking up with The Lady Okie and Sunshine to the Square Inch for their new monthly Runners Tell All series. Today I am sharing my running story in 250 words.
So lets get this started...

I have always been a flippy floppy runner. In elementary school I was a basketball and volleyball player, both sports involve lots of running during practice and games. In Jr High I joined the track and field team and was also still in basketball. Once high school hit I was on the swim team, good-bye running! 
After graduating high school I would run a little bit and then fall off track. 

September 3, 2013 I ran for the first time and did 4 miles. I decided that I wanted to become a runner, I even blogged about it here. I ran consistently and started racking up the miles into the beginning of November. Winter then hit Ohio and I found myself not being able to run outside & I absolutely despise the treadmill so I have only been able to run a handful of days in the last couple months. During the time that I am out there running I am able to really clear my head and enjoy myself. 
This year I am going to run a 1/2 marathon and hopefully a couple 5Ks. 
I was originally thinking about doing it this spring but the race I was originally wanting to do is May 3 and I am not real sure if I can fully prepare for it in 67 days plus unless I sign up before March 1st it is going to be $100. 

So that is the shortened version of my running story but if you really want to read the longer version you can read my first post about becoming a runner. Also make sure you check out Beka and Amanda's blogs for the awesome giveaway they are doing this month and read about the other runners that are linking up and hear their awesome stories!!

Weekend Recap

Monday, February 24, 2014

Happy Monday Ya'all
That is probably the first peppy Monday welcome you have ever seen over here.
Normally I hate Mondays. Mondays used to be very hectic at work for me, so I never looked forward to them. However this Monday I do not have to work and it is my last Monday as being unemployed.
Okay I have only had one week of being unemployed but I am so pumped to start my new job tomorrow.

Good things have been going on over here and I only pray that it will be getting better.
Today I will probably be spending the day finishing up all our laundry, making sure the house is cleaned so I can relax this week without having to worry about cleaning after working all day, and picking out my outfits for the week. I don't know if it is the optimism of my life really turning around or being so excited because I went on a little shopping spree for new work clothes. Either way I am definitely enjoying cloud nine.

This weekend I was a bad blogger and didn't take nearly enough pictures of everything we did.
Here is what we got into:
Friday: basement flooded but Anthony and my Dad got it taken care of before anything was really damaged! Friday night Anthony and I had a little date night. We made a pit stop at Autozone and then Staples followed by dinner and drinks at Buffalo Wild Wings.
New Planner I got at Staples. Martha Stewart Planner

Saturday: we went to a farm equipment auction over an hour away. We didn't really see anything we couldn't live without (I did want to just buy a chicken coop that was already finished but Anthony wants us to just build our own). Anthony had to work the rest of day so I dropped him off and went home to relax for the afternoon. Saturday was also my Mom's birthday! So we had a birthday dinner at Tumbleweed. Once again I didn't take nearly enough pictures but I did snap one of Shalene and I.

After dinner we headed to Courtney and Darrin's to hangout. 
We were originally going to go bowling but the lanes were packed and we nixed that idea.
We all ended up just sitting around talking. 
Courtney also gave me the cutest little gift for everything I have been through in the past couple of weeks.
She is just the sweetest and I love my new cup!!


Sunday: I finally slept in past 7:30 a.m. I have not been able to sleep in for about two weeks now due to all the stress I have been going through. Surprisingly though my face has not broken out like it normally does when I get stressed so I will take early mornings over hormonal acne any day of the week.
The weather here was perfect this weekend so Maddy, my cousin, and I went for a little run.

It ended up being a lot windier than we thought it would be and we had a lot of catching up to do so we spent more time chatting than running but it felt amazing to get outside.
Diesel also joined us because he has been pretty lonely since Tank isn't here anymore.
He loves going on car rides and even though he was dragging me in the beginning I was the one dragging him by the end of two miles. 

New tunes. I ended up buying the newest Eric Church album and decided to check out someone different, Granger Smith.


Did you all have a good weekend? All in all I must say I did. 
This week I am looking forward to starting my new job, not one but two nights of The Bachelor and hopefully putting a bigger dent in reading The Divergent.

5 on Friday

Friday, February 21, 2014

Hello Friday!!! 
oh how I love thee
Today I am linking up with Christina - Natasha - April & Darci


1. God is so good! I cannot believe how good he is. Most of the time my prayers are just for other family members and for our marriage to be blessed but in the last week or so my prayers definitely increased to the Man upstairs. I searched for signs that we would be okay with the decisions I needed to make and he gave them to be in more ways than one. I had to keep reminding myself of this quote I found on Pinterest.

2. Sunday my Mom and I joined my Aunt Lori, Maddy and Molly on a shopping trip to Easton. Miss Molly has been waiting for two years to get an American Girl doll. She is finally old enough and the whole experience was just that quite an "experience". The store was packed with so many little girls ooohhhhing and ahhhhing over everything in the store. Molly was overwhelmed but finally picked out her doll and we were ready to get out of there. That store seriously has everything that you can imagine! Everything from salon or bistro to little details for the dolls, hearing aids and even a wheelchair!!! I was so impressed!

No shopping trip is complete without stepping into Victoria Secret.

 We ended up having lunch at BD's Mongolian BBQ
 I love this sister moment I captured of these two at Anthropology

3. Exploring my Opportunities and a little stress relief.
I went to tour a vet tech institute on Tuesday this week. I had been fooling with the idea but wasn't real sure what it is I want to do so of course no commitments were made. There were a handful of positives but just as many negatives. The biggest being that my commute would be an hour and ten minutes each way -- jeepers!!! Along with the long hours in the car classes are also M-F from 8-5...goodbye quality time with my hubby. 

After the tour I took advantage of the fact that Easton Town Center is 5 minutes down the road. Easton has an amazingly huge Barnes and Noble bookstore. I love Barnes and Noble and don't get in there nearly enough. It is so much better to be there by yourself to. You can wander around with no time restraints and really enjoy yourself.

I ended up buying three books; the 1st book in the Divergent series (for myself), a Charleston South Carolina tour book (for Anthony & myself to plan our vacation this summer, and a Peter Rabbit baby book for my friends Courtney & Darrin who are expecting their first baby this fall!!!

4. Interviews. This week I had not just one but two interviews (at the same place). On Wednesday I went to my first interview at a law firm in downtown Zanesville. I left there being told that I might not be contacted for a month because they were just in the beginning stages of interviewing. I was kind of concerned because being unemployed is not my favorite thing. Later in the afternoon on Wednesday I received a phone call asking if I could come back in for a 2nd interview on Thursday to be interviewed with all the attorneys. Talk about panic attack lol. Since I have very little interviewing experience due to my tendency of longevity I needed to focus on some common questions. Of course finding an outfit was one of the questions in my head too. After some careful consideration and advice from Julie I was ready to go. 
My second interview lasted from 12-2 and I was interviewed by the 6 different attorneys in the office individually. It was definitely an interview experience that I had never had before and looking at it now it was an amazing opportunity!! I left the interview with positive vibes but was still told it might be a while before I was contacted. Two hours later I received a phone call telling me I GOT THE JOB! I quickly accepted and did a happy dance when I hung up the phone!!! I start my new job on Tuesday and cannot wait to start this new journey!!! 

5. Giving. I love it when people help me, and I love (even more) when I am able to give back to them to thank them for all their help! There is nothing like sitting down and writing a thank-you card. Today I get to do all the above. A handful of ladies helped me in the last week with finding a new job and listening to everything I was going through. Since last week was work related and needed to remain confidential to some extent so being able to confide in someone that I knew would be trustworthy and keep quiet about the matter was not something I could just tell everyone. I was able to call my Aunt Lori from the get go and she was there to listen to me and give me the advice I needed. She was not the only one but I was definitely thankful for her during the last week. I also had the support from two of my Mom's old coworkers and friends in the unemployment process and job search. I found these awesome cards at TJ Maxx and a couple candles there too. As always I love my mason jars and gotta share them with everyone!!!




I Do Hard Things

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I cannot go into too much detail on something that I have been dealing with for over a week now but I feel like I really need to document not just the good but also the bad and challenging here on the blog. Plus having everyone's support makes the journey easier. 
For the last year some changes were made at my work that I didn't totally agree with but I pressured through them and tried to have a good mindset that it would get better. Unfortunately it did not get better, it got worse. In the last couple of months things started taking a turn for the worse and the work environment eventually became an unsafe one that made me really question what I was doing there.
Not every day was horrible and these changes were not something petty such as a change in my position or in the way I did different procedures. It was behavior from other employees and management that would and should not be acceptable in any work environment.
On Tuesday of last week there was an incident that allowed me to make the definite decision to no longer continue working there and I resigned immediately on Thursday after returning to work after taking off Wednesday as a vacation day.
This was definitely one of the hardest decisions that I had to make but at this point I knew I did not need to put up with this and I needed out. Mindy, my other co-worker and the office audiologist also resigned at this time. Thursday was packed with filling out paperwork and filing reports. We applied for unemployment and the job searching began. 

Today I had my first interview at a law firm. 
Everything went very good in my perspective.
And it must have because I was just contacted an hour ago for a second interview.
Tomorrow I am going to be interviewed and get to meet the attorneys at the office.
I am very hopeful and looking forward to this new adventure.




Good-Bye

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Saying good-bye is typically something I have never struggled with.
That was until this past weekend. 
On Jan.7th we were given some very devastating news about Tank, he was diagnosed with osteocarcinoma (bone cancer). He was given 3-6 more months with us and we decided to savor every last minute we had with him. During this time we kept him on joint and muscle pain medication to keep him comfortable and we even changed his diet to a dog food with very little carbohydrates because that is what the cancer feeds on.
Many of my weekends and evenings were spent hanging out here at the house with Tank and Diesel instead of going out with friends or dates with my husband. 

Last Sunday night we started noticing that Tank's leg was swelling more and we decided to schedule his appointment with the vet for the end of the week. I was very consumed with some issues at work that I was not able to completely devote all my time to Tank during his last few days with us. However while everyone else was celebrating Valentine's Day on Friday I spent my whole entire day at home with the dogs because not only was it VDay but it was also Tank's birthday! 
Tank came in the room and woke me up bright and early (which is the best way to be woken up, by him!)
I cooked him some eggs for breakfast and gave him his pill in a big piece of chocolate cake.
We spent the morning sleeping on the floor and watching some of the olympics.

Mom and Dad came over with Chipotle for lunch and to hangout with the birthday boy.
Anthony got off work around 7:00 and we made a quick run to the store to get some birthday cookies to celebrate. We didn't have any candles but we sang Happy Birthday anyways.


We then made an attempt at a family selfie


Tank's appointment at the vet was set for 9 a.m. Saturday morning.
 I woke up before 5:30 crying uncontrollably just thinking about what we had to do within a few hours.
We cooked breakfast, cleaned out the trunk of the car and the backseat and spent the rest of our morning telling Tank that we loved him so much and that soon enough he would no longer be in pain. Oh & lots of smooches. Tank was never a kissing type of dog (which was partially a good thing due to his slobbery-ness) but as I was holding him in a big bear hug sobbing he looked up and gave me the biggest kiss right on my nose! I did not want to say good-bye to him but knew he needed to not be in this much pain anymore.

We got to the vet and took him in. He was definitely scared because he didn't know what was going on. I just hugged him to my chest and let him know it was okay. After saying our good-byes the vet came in and gave him his shot. We stayed there holding him during this time and within seconds he slipped peacefully away. It was hard to believe how fast it worked and that he was gone. Anthony and I stood there hugging each other. Tank was buried at my Mom and Dad's right next to Lucy & Tippy (our family dogs we had while I was growing up) since this was where he also grew up and we still associated with as home.

I still cannot believe he is gone and find myself thinking about him so much.
Our house is very quiet. Too quiet. 
We will cherish these memories forever and I cannot wait to meet him again in Heaven.


I cannot begin to thank all of you enough for all of your prayers and thoughts for Tank and our family.
Without them and God's help I am not sure we would have been able to get this point.
 Thank-you all so much!
xoxo

Finish This...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

I just found this fun little link up this  morning while reading some blogs and I couldn't resist participating. I was having a hard time coming up with something to post about for today so this really came in handy!!! Thanks so much Jen for hosting this Finish This.

I will never outgrow... licking the batters from the mixer.

I splurge on... dog food. Our dogs do not eat the super super cheat food. I don't like to eat Ramen noodles or canned tuna so why should they have to. I recently started buying canned dog food from the pet store and mixing it into their dry food along with an egg. Earlier last month we also splurged on the most expensive bag of dog food for Tank - 20 lb for $40. We had to change his diet due to his cancer, unfortunately for a 130 lb dog that little bag would not last long so we have been mixing it with his other food once a day.

My passport represents... what passport?! LOL hopefully one day soon I will have one but this poor newlywed has never left the country.

My most ridiculous fear is... being fired. We used every penny of my income along with my hubby's to survive and if one of us were to get fired it would set us back really bad. Right now it is very hard to get a job in our town so I fear what would happen. 

My favorite thing to give is... handmade gifts. Everyone is always amazed at my creativity and the smile on their face when I give them something that I have actually made myself is priceless.

I will leave you with this funny picture of Tank sleeping yesterday. 
He was out cold, snoring like his an old man. 
I took like 10 pictures and even poked his tongue and he didn't budge. 

Don't mind the left over remains of the latest fluff filled toy that only lasted about 3 minutes thanks
to Diesel and his shredding abilities. The search continues for more durable, long lasting toys
Any suggestions?


WEDDING WEDNESDAY - DIY cake toppers

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hello everyone!!!
I am sitting here enjoying my first snow day since High School. I am pretty sure it is more thrilling than then aside from the fact that no work=no money. Aside from that there is nothing I can do about it since the car is currently stuck at the end of the driveway and Anthony took the truck when he realized I was called off for the day. Last night we got hammered with snow and freezing rain within hours which put us on an immediate level three and all the schools closed.
Anthony eventually made it to work this morning and will most likely be staying there the whole day because of the 30+ people that are supposed to be there they only counted 11. Meanwhile I will be sitting here reading blogs, cuddling with the dogs and maybe cleaning a little bit.

Back to Wedding Fun! 
Looking back now I would have to say that the part that I enjoyed the most (aside from marrying my best friend and wearing the most gorgeous dress I have ever worn!) was shopping for all the little details of our wedding. I knew from the get-go that I would want to DIY the majority of our decorations. 
When I started searching for cake topper ideas the DIY route was not my initial idea. 
I knew I wanted something that would look like us and describe our relationship to a tee or at least fall into the rustic elegant them we had going on for our wedding. 
The first one that I truly fell in love with was this one that I found on Etsy.
Source: Mud Cards Etsy Shop
This cake topper had our names all over it.
To this day I still love it so much.
However being $145 it was not in our budget.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the prices of this Etsy shop and I would have ordered this if I could have but once again I did not want to skimp on a different aspect of our wedding for this. I understand the pricing of this cake topper and I would not have sold it for a penny less if I would have been the one making it. These creations are one of a kind, take tons of time and creative ability to make. Keren does a wonderful job and deserves a medal for being so creative and talented!!!!

The search was on again. 
One day while scrolling through instagram I came across the most adorable peg doll company, Goose Grease. This company sells kits for you to make your own peg doll people.
After browsing at some other people's creations and realizing that this family owned company is from right here in the US living in New York I decided I wanted to give this DIY project a try. Ordering it in early May I only had a month to figure out if this was what I really wanted & if that what I did once I had that paint brush in my hand would really look good enough to grace the top of our wedding cake.
The kit came with everything that I needed; two sets of peg dolls (for mistakes! I was sure I would be using the second set for our actual toppers), paint brushes, paint (you chose your colors), a clear coat to go over the top to protect your cake from the paint & vice versa and a little booklet with helpful hints.
After reading and researching everything I thought I would need to know I set down to paint ourselves onto these wooden peg dolls.
Source: Goose Grease Etsy Shop
Thankfully the first ones I made turned out perfectly and Anthony agreed too!!!
 I was so proud of them and when guests asked me where I got them I proudly said that I had ordered them blank and painted them myself!!! 
Ty Nicole Photography


Speaking of DIY projects, that beautiful table that our cakes sat on was made by my wonderful brother!!!
It was his gift to us and it is now our kitchen table. 
If our house was on fire it is one of the things I would sacrifice my life to get out of there. 
We love it so much and will cherish it forever!!!
If you notice we played nicely and there was no cake fight.
We decided this from the beginning that we would not smear it in each other's faces.
However I did have a little bit of a twitter in my belly just thinking of what Anthony had running through his head and what would be the outcome. 



We both played fair and kept to our promise and there was no mess to clean up.
Anthony's friend, Josiah, made our cake for us and did an amazing job!
It was their gift to us and I was so happy with how it turned out.
The two sheet cakes were actually ordered from Sam's Club and Josiah was able to pick those up and deliver all of our cakes to the reception hall.
Both tasted amazing and unfortunately a piece of our cake was not saved for our one year anniversary so we are thinking about having him make us a little cake just for the occasion. 
It will probably taste better then anyways!

All of our wedding photography was done by the AMAZING Ty from Ty Nicole Photography and she finally got her website up and running this week so I am able to put credit where it is due. This girl has got some amazing talent & I cherish our pictures from our wedding day thanks to her!!!!

For more Wedding Wednesday posts today make sure you head over to Jordon and Meredith's blogs. There are so many brides & brides to be over there that are blogging about their wedding days.
Love Always, Nancy J

On The Upward Climb To His 30s

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Today my hubby turns 26.
I keep joking with him that he is nearing his thirty's. He isn't impressed lol.
But I wanted to honor the birthday boy guy today here on the blog today.
So here is a little list of all the things I love about this man...

+he is such a hardworker. 
Just like today for example he had to be at work at 7 am and won't be out of class until 7:50 pm tonight.
+ he cooks better than I do.
+ he has the same love for travel that I have. 
+ he is going to school for something that he loves.
+ he teaches me everything he knows about hunting & fishing instead of just doing it all for me.
+ he does the dishes. 
If you know anything about me you should know that I absolutely despise doing the dishes. I will seriously let them sit in the sink for days before I take care of them. For some reason I just hate to do anything with the dishes once they are dirty. 
+ he eats the food I cook. In the last couple months I have been experimenting with new recipes and he doesn't even say a word if the outcome is questionable.
+ he urges me to follow my dreams. .
(He keeps reminding me to keep running so I can run the 1/2 this summer)
+ we share the same religion. 
Ever since the get go we have both been Catholics and I even experienced a time when I was questioning my faith and he reeled me back in and was there to listen to my questions and assure me that it would ok.
+ he loves my family.
+ he is going to be a great Daddy one day and I cannot wait
+ he agrees to all my decorating ideas
+ he has the same future goals as I do (purchasing land, building a home, relocation)
+ we are both on the same page when it comes to moving to a different town or state.
+ he enjoys drinking wine with me
+ he doesn't fight with me when an argument arise. We both agree on what needs to be done and we move on from the issue.
+ he will help anyone who needs it.
+ he knows how to work on cars. 
I can only imagine the money we would have to shell out if he didn't know how to do this. He can do anything from changing the oil, fixing a flat to rebuilding a whole motor, changing the brakes.
+ he agrees to my crazy ideas.
+ he patiently waits on me even when I am always running late.
+ he gave me his last name. <3 

Happy Birthday Babe!!!
I Love You
xoxo



Favorite Things - February

Monday, February 3, 2014

First off I want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Emily from over at Beauty and the Greek!!!

Today Emily along with Kylie from over at Lip Gloss & Lunges are hosting the Favorite Things link up.
I am going to share with you a handful of products that I have been using and am loving!
Every month I look forward reading what everyone else is liking. It is kind of like doing online shopping but a little better because you know that if someone is talking about it then you know it is worth checking out.

Beauty and the Greek

Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Shampoo & Conditioner
We finally ran out of our huge bottles of shampoo and conditioner that we bought months ago from Sam's Club and this winter my hair has been extremely dry so I wanted to try something different. At the same time I had been seeing commercials for Garnier's new line of hair products to help moisturize so I decided to give it a try. I have only been using it for two weeks now but my hair is feeling so much better!

Not Your Mother's She's A Tease hairspray & Beat The Heat heat spray
At the same time I was buying the shampoo & conditioner a couple weeks ago I also decided to try something new for hairspray and a heat protectant. My Kenra that I have been using for months ran out a week prior and I kept putting off getting more because it involved going into the hair stylists and every time I thought about it they were either closed or it was very convenient for me to get there. 
I am really liking the heat spray and the hairspray really lasts for most of the day for my curls.
Plus they were more reasonable than buying one bottle of the Kenra hairspray. 

B&BW Aromatherapy Stress Relief  bath soak in Eucalyptus Spearmint
My MIL, Teresa, gave me this in my Christmas gift this year and I have been loving it.
I love the aromatherapy line but had never gotten this scent before and I smells so good when I take a really hot bath. 

Autumn gave me this along with a whole box full of makeup that I have been picking through and trying new products out of since Thanksgiving and this is one that I have been finding myself using on almost a daily basis. It is a little darker so I am thinking about getting the next shade lighter for the rest of the winter. I love using BB creams because they just leave an even tone all over my face before putting on my powder foundation. This one is very light and when all my makeup is on it doesn't feel like I have a mask of makeup on, which is always good.

Southern Grove Almonds.
I couldn't find a link for these but I found them at Aldi and I have really enjoyed snacking on them.
Since I have been trying to snack less and eat healthier these have been perfect to have at home and by my desk. Aldi also carries other types too along with a trail mix that I haven't tried yet. At less than $3 a bag they are reasonable too.

Lia Sophia Florid bracelet.
This piece has been discontinued but if you really want it you could probably check eBay or contact a consultant and they might be able to get it for you. 

I have had the hardest time finishing this book, and I still haven't but I am finally over half way through it and I am really loving the story. I am a huge Nicholas Sparks fan so I am always anxiously waiting for the next book to be out.

Anthony bought me this last week and I have been using it All. The. Time. 

Make sure you all head over to Emily's and tell her "Happy Birthday!!!"


I am not compensated from any of these companies (although that would be great lol) and all the above opinions are solely my own.
Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs