Toady I took back my run. If you had asked me a year ago what I loved, I would have said “I love to run,” without hesitation, but I lost that. I lost my run. I could run, but I just didn’t want to. I guess you could call it my mojo, but why?
You see, 288 days ago, I ran a marathon & it stole my love of running. I trained… I ran… I ran a lot… and I burned myself out. For the past 9 months, I’ve tried to run. I’ve gone fast, slow, and everywhere in between but it just didn’t work. I had no idea what it would take to get my run back. Maybe I would just quit being a runner.
So much of what I have been over the last 7 years has been partially defined by calling myself a runner. Could I really be OK with changing that? Could I just quit? Would I have to put away the medals, the running bibs, the car magnets? No. I just couldn’t do it, so…
I went. No expectations. No time or
distance. I ran. I stopped to enjoy the world around me. I high-fived tree leaves, I took in the beauty around me, I listened to my body, I may have even shed a few tears (sometimes I cry when I run… the sun makes my eyes water). I ran, uphill, downhill, I even spread my wings, kicked up my heels and ran fast downhill and closed my eyes for just a second. And I felt alive.
When all was said and done, I knew I was back. How far & how fast didn’t matter. All I could think about was when I would run next. (Those of you who are runners understand.) I am a runner. See you on the road.
I began this year with a project in mind…my goal was to do something fun, but different. I had seen a post about taking a picture a day for 365 days. It caught my attention, but it couldn’t be just that. My project had to be different…go figure. I decided I would do a yoga tree pose every day for all of 2014. I knew I would need some help with this, so I recruited Kevin to be my photographer (some days I set the timer, but for most, he’s my guy). I started out with a bang by climbing the tree…something I haven’t done in a VERY long time, but at Kevin’s suggestion, I went for it. It was fun & invigorating and I couldn’t wait for day 2. Here’s where I’ve gone so far.
Day 1 of 365…tree in a tree
Day 2 of 365…upside down tree
Day 3 of 365…tree in the snow
Day 4 of 365…tree on the frozen fishpond
Day 5 of 365…tree in the rainy street
Day 6 of 365…family tree
Day 7 of 365…tree silhouette
Day 8 of 365…real life tree
Day 9 of 365…trees at the gym with friends
Day 10 of 365…it’s Friday night at 6:50 & I’m in my pajamas tree
Day 11 of 365…one rockin’ tree
Day 12 of 365…rooftop garden tree
Day 13 of 365…tree frog tree
Day 14 of 365…pineapple tree
Day 15 of 365…ǝǝɹʇ
Day 16 of 365…snowy night tree
Day 17 of 365…first grade trees
Day 18 of 365…on the couch with my dog tree
Day 19 of 365…poet-tree
Day 20 of 365…Kelly & Kevin standing like a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g
Day 21 of 365…beautiful snowy morning tree
Day 22 of 365…trampoline tree
Day 23 of 365…tree in a pot
Day 24 of 365…Happy Birthday to Mamaw tree (I love & miss you.)
Day 25 of 365…outstanding in my field tree
Day 26 of 365…sunset tree
Day 27 of 365…tea tree oil
Day 28 of 365…cottonwood tree
Day 29 of 365…pea tree dish
Day 30 of 365…tree stump
Day 31 of 365…tree hugger
Day 32 of 365…tree of love
Day 33 of 365…post-rainy run tree
When I began, I had no idea where this project would take me. I have had people talk to me about these pictures which are fairly ordinary nearly every day for the past month. I thought I was just having fun & maybe a few people would get some enjoyment or a laugh out of it, but I have a feeling it is much more than that. If I can inspire just one person to try something new & different, then this has been a success. Some days are ordinary & some days, my heart is so full I can’t even explain. I’ll continue to make like a tree & please continue to enjoy it.
Can’t wait for more trees…here’s a link to my Facebook album where I’m adding a picture a day: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202999787744683.1073741834.1504154175&type=1&l=5b396f1966
So, instead of taking time each day to tell you all why I’m thankful, I’m just going to give you 30 reasons all in one big grateful post. So, in no particular order, here it is.
1. My Mind: I have learned a lot in my 32 years & continue to learn more & more. I have a college degree & a mind that continues to work for me.
2. My Health: I am strong & healthy…not everyone can say that. I am able to get up every day, and move & breathe freely.
3. Nattas: I have been blessed with a child who has the kindest soul I’ve ever known. He always has a kind word & a generous heart. I’m not sure what I did to deserve him, but there is truly none like Nattas.
4. Kevin: Not everyone is lucky enough to find a partner for life who can make them laugh, think deeply & feel lucky to have them every day. I am one lucky girl to have a guy who does all of this and more for me.
5. My Mom: She taught me how to be. I learned to be strong and independent from watching her each and every day. She never let on that times were tough. She never let me believe anything was impossible. She was always encouraging & still is. To this day, she is one of the greatest women I have ever known. Thank you Mom!
6. My Dad: This one’s a toughie, but I am grateful for my dad. He has always made it known that he loves me. He has taught me that words are not always needed & sometimes being silent is just as powerful. He may not have been a shining example of what a dad should be, but he is mine & for that, I am grateful.
7. Kora: She may not be mine…but she kind of is. Kora has taught me that it’s sometimes important to let the little things go & look at the big picture…what’s really important in life. She gets me to do things I never thought I’d do, like play basketball & do rap battles. 🙂
8. Family: I am so glad that I was able to grow up with a family that showed me it’s ok to be a bit disfunctional. We’ve laughed, cried, yelled, fought & loved. Family is family & I love my family…ALL of them.
9. Papaw: He has always been the one to tell it like it is. I’m not sure he can hold his tongue…& that’s just fine with me. He has always loved & given. Papaw has shown me that anyone can be successful with enough determination & effort. With no more than an 8th grade education, he rose to the top to manage a factory. I will always look to him as an example of what hard work really can get you in life.
10. Grandpa: A kind & gentle spirit…always a smile & a hug…I love this man. Grandpa has always been so pleasant & positive. He would do anything for anyone. Maybe that ‘s where Nattas get’s it.
11. Grandma: Oh…I miss her so much. I would give anything for one more day, just to tell her how much she means. Yes, she made the best biscuits & fried chicken, but she also gave the best kind of love…the unconditional kind. If I have to grow old, I would be proud to grow old just like her.
12. Mamaw: Mamaw…mamaw…mamaw. She could make me laugh, she could make me cry or do both at the same time. She was the rock that held us all together. Her heart ached when we hurt & rejoiced when we were happy. She always had something funny to say even if she wasn’t trying. I miss her every day.
13. God: Whether you are a believer or not, God is a hugely important part of MY life. I feel lucky to live in a place & time where I get to make that choice & no one can tell me differently.
14. My Church: I have not known a more generous bunch of people. Anyone who walks into our church is welcomed & loved. We may all be a little crazy, but that’s what makes us great.
15. Friendship: Friendships come and go, but it’s always nice to have someone to call a friend.
16. Laughter: I don’t care why we laugh…it just feels good. The saying that “laughter is the best medicine” couldn’t be truer.
17. Dirt: From dirt comes life. What else can seem so lifeless yet give so much? From it, we can grow our food, build a home, plant flowers, make mud pies…you get the idea. Need convincing? Check out the movie… http://www.thedirtmovie.org/
18. Food: It is my fuel…it keeps me going. Through food, I can heal myself & make myself stronger and more powerful. What I choose to eat directly effects how I feel & how I am able to live.
19. My Body/Exercise: For my legs that support me when I run…my arms that lift me up…my heart that keeps me going…my lungs that allow me to breathe deeply…& for that definition in my abs when I work really hard. Hey, we’re all a little bit superficial.
20. My Hands: My hands give me the ability to make & do beautiful things. I can create things with my hands. I can help others with my hands. The possibilities are endless.
21. My Home: It may not be the greatest, but it provides me with the warmth & shelter I need. In my home, I have the love of my family. Together, we make it a great place to be.
22. Music: All of it…makes me want to dance, cry, sing out loud, think, wonder & feel. Music is a beautiful thing.
23. Art: Through art, one can express who they truly are.
24. Freedom: This one is a biggie…Yes, the freedom that we have as American’s is a great thing, but I’m also talking about a different kind of freedom. We have the freedom every day to choose who we will be. I can wake up and choose to be a kind & giving person. I can choose to be mean & hateful. I choose each day what I will do & who I will be. I am thankful that it is my choice to make.
25. Dogs: First, for Wicket who taught me that it is possible to love a dog. She started it all. Then there was Emmett…he showed me love…honest, unconditional love when I needed it most. Dobbs was the next to steal my heart. He was my protector, my best friend. He stayed by my side no matter what. I never knew that it could hurt so bad to lose a pet, but he was no ordinary dog…he was a part of our family. I love you my Dobbs! And now there’s Grounder…he is mine, and I am his…his mommy that is. He is the dog who seems to believe he is human. He talks to us, hugs us, begs for us to play. He’s just another one of the kids.
26. My Job: It may not be exactly what I want to do, but I am grateful to have it. I spend every day trying my hardest to teach children so that they may someday grow up to be well-educated adults. They are the future & I’m lucky to have a part in that.
27. Chocolate: “The divine drink, which builds up resistance & fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink permits a man to walk for a whole day without food.” – Emperor of Montezuma of the Aztecs Enough said!
28. Color in Life: Imagine the world without color. The blue sky, green grass, flowers in every color of the rainbow, rainbows, leaves in the fall, strong brown tree trunks…even rocks have beautiful colors. The list goes on, but I love color.
29. Water: A staple of life that we all take for granted…water keeps everything going. Without water, life would cease to exist. Besides all of that, it’s almost all I drink.
30. Wine: Last but certainly not least…a glass of wine brings me back to reality, takes off the edge after a rough day & makes me a lot more fun to be around.
To all of you…find some small thing to be thankful for every day. Sure, Thanksgiving is a great time to start, but give it a shot each and every day.
It all began with 3 pumpkins…we chose the 2 who would be cut & carved
into Jack-o-lanterns. We cut & drew & scraped & cut some more
until we had 2 Jack-0-lanterns. (The 3rd pumpkin was spared.)
For the 1st time, Nattas created & carved his very own.
Now the problem remained…what would we do with the guts?
From the stringy guts…I made bread…whole wheat pumpkin gut bread.
2 cups pumpkin guts (chopped up really small)
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. mutmeg
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup water
1 cup applesauce
Optional: 1 cup of nuts, raisins, or whatever you like.
Mix dry…mix wet…mix together…bake in 2 loaf pans at 350 for about an hour.
Sliced into 12 slices per loaf…139 calories, 1.2 g fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 117 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 2.3 g fiber, 3.2 g protein.
I roasted the seeds with cinnamon & brown sugar.
Here’s a link to a recipe. Their’s look prettier than mine. I used olive oil instead of butter & only about 2 Tbsp.
So…happy pumpkin carving to you all!