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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Resolution Wrap Up

What a year it has been! As 2014 draws to a close, I am happy to report that I finally completed a new year's resolution! I completed one active event each month of 2014. Every kind of event from old favorites to my first bicycle ride to traipsing all over Israel to my first triathlon. And I learned so much and experienced so many new things along the way.

Here's a no brainer for you: training helps. Throughout the year, I was in all kinds of shape for the different events. When I was training regularly, I felt strong and confident and (obviously) finished with better results. When I had been a little lax on training (read: NOT training), I felt unprepared and struggled through the event. So guess what? Training and regular exercise makes a difference! Good thing you stopped by to gather that little nugget of wisdom.

Perhaps a more important lesson, I learned how to define my own success. The world bombards us with widely-accepted definitions: winning, power, fame, money, etc. For a series of races, winning would pretty clearly be considered success. But what else? In each ride, race, and event, there were thousands of people participating. Does that mean only a handful of those people each time are successful? Of course not. For me, there were a few "successes" throughout the year.

First, finishing. I tried a few new activities, and a couple of them made me pretty nervous. So the goal was not always never winning, or even besting a personal time, but rather just to push through. To be stronger than my fear and to push my body through physical weakness or exhaustion. I finished every activity. Some stronger than others, to be sure, but I crossed each finish line on my own volition. And so I count each race a success. Moreover, I completed a new year's resolution, and I don't know that I've ever done that before. I stuck it out each race and each month, and I'm happy to be crossing the finish line for 2014.

Another valuable lesson learned and practiced was the good ole "no excuses." One event, each month, for an entire year. No excuses. I didn't give up the time we got lost on a course, or the time I left my swim gear at home, or when the weather was particularly nasty. I had a goal I wanted to complete, and to make that happen, I couldn't make excuses. Good practice for a life lesson.

Third, I can't discount the self-awareness and self-confidence I am taking away from this experience. I learned to be proud of the finish lines I crossed, the time goals I met, and stepping out of my comfort zone. When the triathlon was going so terribly, I resigned myself to being in last place (womp womp) and set out to just finish and keep my chin up. I turned my negative thoughts around during my hardest event of the year, and told myself that I was capable and I would be proud of finishing. When we were lost on a bike course, I swallowed my panic and stuck it out on my bike to finish the ride. This year, I accomplished goals I hadn't even imagined setting on January 1st. And that is a pretty incredible feeling.

All in all, I count the year of 2014 a smashing success. Now I am ready and excited for the adventures that 2015 will bring!

Did you stick with your new year's resolution?
What did you learn in 2014?
Are you ready for the new year?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas! The Lord has come! I hope your holiday is filled with joy and hope, love and laughter.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Love, the Welshimers

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December: 12k of Christmas

Merry Christmas! This December event marks the completion of my 2014 New Year's Resolution. How exciting is that? It seems like it couldn't possibly have been a year ago that I first made that resolution. I'll post a final wrap up soon, but first, let's talk about the 12k of Christmas!

I ran the 6k portion of this run last year, and it did not go well. The weather was so humid it felt like we were swimming, and I was out of shape to boot. Since I've been running, this year went so much better, and I was able to run the full 12k! I finished in 1:22:51.5, which was about an 11:15/mile pace. I'm pretty happy with that, since I was running fairly casually with my friend, Rose, and the Mister.

The race was very well organized. We started at Fish Plaza at the Wortham Theater Center, which is a great area in Downtown. Unfortunately though, the course was really boring. First of all, the 12k course was just two times around the 6k loop, which means we would already be running the exact same path twice. Even worse, that 6k loop? It wasn't a loop. It was a U-turn. Which means that we ran down Memorial Drive, then up Memorial... then down Memorial... then up Memorial again. Not very motivating. For the 6-9k, we actually played "I Spy," we were so bored.

Oh well. At least the course was pretty! Even if we had to look at it 4 times. :)

AND we got a finisher medal. And who doesn't love getting a medal?

Altogether, I really enjoy this event. For a new event, it is wonderfully organized and well put together. This year's course was different from last year's, so I have high hopes for the course interest to improve. The 12k of Christmas is a festive end to a year of active events, and a festive beginning to my holiday break. It definitely helped me stay motivated to run during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Between the Christmas parties, hosting Christmas Cookie Decorating, buying and wrapping gifts, and packing for vacation, it was good to know I had to be ready for the 12k. All about that motivation.

How do you stay motivated during the holiday season?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

fall bucket list - recap

This post should probably have been written two weeks ago, followed by a charming Christmas/winter bucket list. But that would require me to be on top of my game, which is just not the story around here lately. So forgive me for being late to the party, but cheers to fall!

> pumpkin patch  - Yes, indeed! I love how our family photos turned out!

> pumpkin spice latte - Do you know what I discovered? I think I'm over pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks. (Say what?!) I only had one this season, and it just wasn't that exciting. You know what is delicious though? The salted caramel mocha. Yum.

> decorate pumpkins - I passed on carving this season, and opted for a couple of different pumpkin decorating ideas. I thought they turned out pretty cute.

> make baked-pumpkin-something - I made this tasty banana pumpkin bread to take to Waco as a hosting gift/snack to share. It was delicious.

> pumpkin beer - the Mister kept a log this season, and we tried seven different pumpkin beers! Our favorites were Harpoon's Pumpkin UFO and Karbach's Krunkin' Pumpkin. Do you have a favorite?

> cook ALL THE FALL RECIPES - I can definitely check this one off the list! The Mister and I made this delicious butternut squash soup a couple of times. We also tried charred Mexican zucchini, honey mustard quinoa, and this tasty salad. And of course, there were plenty of sweet potatoes!

> Make chili - We did score some of Mom's chili during the week of Thanksgiving, and made our own this past weekend. Texas comfort food.

> Baylor football game - Homecoming was wonderful. It was so great being back on campus and catching up with dear friends.

> finish closet detox - Ha. Remember how this was on the short list? Nope. I have been utilizing a capsule wardrobe for fall, but I haven't actually cleaned out the pieces that didn't make the cut. One step at a time, I suppose.

> camping - the Mister and I did get to escape to the woods for a short weekend trip.

> bike to Cypress - Nope. We basically ran out of free Saturdays. I'll have to schedule it in one of these days!

I loved having a bucket list for fall. It was a great way to keep track of all our traditions and the memories made this past season. I've got some great ideas for a winter bucket list, but we'll see if I can get that posted before spring. Just kidding! No, but really.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

hot mess - holiday edition

Merry Christmas!

The internets are brimming with beautiful Christmas baubles, handmade decorations and gifts, holiday treats that are clever and delicious...

That is not my apartment.

This is my apartment:
I'm sure the folks outside are very impressed with our festiveness.

Say hello to our living room tree. It's not a Christmas tree, because there is nothing to suggest that Christmas has arrived. Note the pumpkins. And the distinct lack of sparkle on our tree. Yes, this picture is current. Yes, Christmas is only 15 days away.

"Not so bad," you say? "There's plenty of time!" you declare? True, in most cases. However, say hello to the other side of our house.

It's Hot Mess Hotel over here.

Last night, we attended our first Christmas party of the season. Tacky sweaters and potluck snacks! Christmas Jeopardy! I have been planning since last year for this year's tacky sweater, and the idea is adorable and amazing. But, it's not what I wore. I wore my fallback tacky sweater, which has been my tacky sweater for four years running. Womp womp.

Sure, maybe the sweater didn't get done, but desserts and snacks could make up for that. I have plenty of quick and easy recipes for party snacks. No problem! But guess when I remembered that we needed to bring said delicious dessert/snack to this party? T-6 hours until party time. Break-and-bake for the win. Or the lose.

To top it off,
I have purchased zero Christmas presents,
done zero planning for Christmas cookie decorating (which I am hosting),
and am three days behind on my advent calendar. (It's a chocolate one. Not even a devotional or reading calendar or anything. I just haven't even kept up with eating chocolate.)

All this to say that I do not have it all together. And that's ok. The Mister and I are doing some decorating tonight, and I know I'll finish (and start, tee hee) my Christmas shopping before the big day. It will all work out.

I also know how frustrating it can be when all the Christmas on the internet is picture perfect. Don't get me wrong-I love seeing all of the beautiful and creative ideas this season. I want my party to be pinterest-pretty this year, too. But first, I wanted share my not-pinterest-pretty real life, in real time. That way, -if- when our Christmas Cookies party is a hit and every picture is precious, you and I will both know where I was ten days before. Hot Mess Hotel, full capacity.

So Merry Christmas, everyone. Know that if your tree is bare, your pinterest reindeer cupcakes look like angry cows, and you just don't have it all together this Christmas, I'm right there with you. Let's focus on filling this holiday season with laughter, friends, celebration, and cheer. Even if you have to wear last year's sweater.


<< I ran the Turkey Trot for the second time this year. Recap coming soon!

<< We spent Thanksgiving day with the Mister's family. The day was full of food, family, football, and games.

<< Some of my Oklahoma family was in town for the holiday. We took a quick trip down to Galveston so my cousin could see the beach for the first time ever. Which is nonsense to this Texas girl.

<< At Youth Group this week, the Jr High students decked the loft. It is finally, officially Christmastime! Now I just have to get my own tree...

* I made these crostinis and this salad for Thanksgiving. Tasty and pretty.
* Cutest cookies on the block.
* I'm putting one of these on my Christmas list.
* What a clever way to celebrate the Advent season!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

November: Turkey Trot

Nothing like a Turkey Trot to get you ready for the Thanksgiving feast!

This was my second year to run the Turkey Trot here in Houston, and I do believe this event is one of my favorites. It's a HUGE event - we're talking 15,000 people participating! The course is also through Uptown, which is just awesome. We run along streets that are usually jam-packed with traffic, so it's a cool feeling to be there on foot and in the middle of the road. Of course, 15,000 people just creates a different kind of traffic.

The Mister and I ran the 5k. One, because it's cheaper. Two, because it's shorter. And three, because there was a FEAST waiting! Can't have Turkey Trot time cutting into turkey time, can we?

I went into the run aiming to finish in under 35 minutes. I figured that was a realistic goal for the pace I'd been running while training, and I felt that it left enough wiggle room for stroller-dodging and human traffic jams. I'm happy to report that we crossed the finish line at 34:46! I am definitely proud of that time, and meeting a goal is such a good motivator.

The trot was festive, the crowd was lively, and the weather was beautiful. And best of all? Guilt free dessert!

Have you ever run a Turkey Trot?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


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<< My Mister had a birthday on Thursday! This weekend was chock-full of celebrations - soccer ganmes, a movie and sushi date, and Sunday lunch with the families. He doesn't like too much fanfare, so we kept it casual but definitely celebratory.

<< We had some sweet friends in town and got to meet their new baby! She's the cutest. I was too busy laughing and catching up to take any pictures, though. #bloggerfail

<< Golden Grill (our Houston grilled cheese food truck), has a sandwich that is made of brie and peach preserves. BRIE AND PEACH PRESERVES. Yum.

<< We found the greatest toy store ever in the Heights! So many unique and clever toys. 25 years old, sans kids, and I still spent an hour in there. :)

The weather was dreary, but we made the most of this weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mister 25

My amazing Mister is 25 today!

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He is sweet and strong. He is kind. He is always willing to help. He's funny. He's easygoing. He's dependable. He's all good things, and I am so proud and in love with this man.

He has all my heart. Forever.

Wishing him the happiest of birthdays!

Friday, November 7, 2014


This past weekend was Baylor's homecoming, so the Mister and I headed up to Waco to meet up with several of our old friends. We visited some of our old favorites and explored the new additions.

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Food for Thought - one of my favorites for Waco eats. And the crossword puzzle? The Mister and I used to do them together every day. Adorable, I know. New stadium! Exciting times for good ole Baylor.

Baylor has the oldest Homecoming in the nation, so there are lots of traditions! We have a bonfire Friday night, the parade Saturday morning, and the homecoming football game later Saturday. All the while there are events all over campus - reunions, Pigskin Review, tours, and just a whole lot of Baylor love.

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The best part of Homecoming this year is that we were there with a group of the old crew. There is something truly special about the friends you make in college. Even though I hadn't seen some of these ladies in years, it felt like we could pick up right where we left off. We reminisced about our college days, caught up on life lately, encouraged each other, and laughed a lot. We laughed all weekend long, the kind of laughter that is balm to the soul.

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"Homecoming" is such an accurate term for last weekend's festivities. Baylor and Waco are such a part of me now; my heart knew I was home when I walked onto campus. College was a time of such growth. I learned so much about myself and the woman I want to be. I met some of my dearest friends and experienced so many things for the first time. I grew so much during those years in Waco, and Baylor is part of who I am.

Then when the weekend is over, we packed up the car and came home to Houston. We stopped in Cypress to pick up the pupsqueak before driving into town to our apartment. That route takes me through the place I grew up, and lands me in the place I am now. Houston, of course, is home to me. I love this city. We have so many adventures here. I am learning to navigate this great big world, and Houston is such a big part of that journey.

My heart calls both places home. Both places are precious to me, and both places are part of who I am and who I am becoming. But loving both as home reminds me that I don't know what all God has in store for my life. There will be other places I call home. I want to be open to change, and I want to keep my heart open to every place I go.

After all, my true home is with Jesus.

"For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands."
-2 Corinthians 5:1

While I hold my home-places close to my heart, let me always be willing to go where called.

What places do you call home?
How have the places you have called home formed you?
How do you keep your heart open for the next adventure?

Thursday, November 6, 2014


 fight song  jellyfish
 baylor bagel  stadium group

<< We were up in Waco for Baylor Homecoming all weekend and had the best time visiting old favorites and catching up with dear friends.

<< I was a jellyfish for Halloween. I was surprised and impressed that most people got it right away, though I was mistaken for Bubble Boy at some point. Close enough.

<< Einstein's Bagels has PUMPKIN SHMEAR! Go get some. Put it on a cinnamon bagel. It's delicous.

<< New Stadium! Sic 'em Bears!

Friday, October 31, 2014

pumpkin patch

Even with all the fall love bouncing around the internet, I was having a hard time feeling like fall was here for me. Tax busy season had me mostly confined to my cubicle when people started drinking pumpkin spice lattes, decorating pumpkins, and wearing their flannel, boots, and scarves. The 85+ degree weather that has been holding here in Houston hasn't helped, either. (Just change, weather!)

Well I'm happy to report that FALL IS HERE! (No, the weather has not changed. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.) But I have finally started to check some big items off my fall bucket list. The Mister and I escaped to the woods Friday and Saturday, for some much needed R&R. On Sunday, we went to the pumpkin patch! We picked out some beauties for decorating and took our yearly family photos. Enjoy!

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Sean and I have been taking photos together in this pumpkin patch since 2007, minus a few years we were away at college. Continuing our tradition this year really made me feel like we were celebrating fall, rather than just letting the season change around us. I want to engage in the current moment. Finally, I feel like fall has arrived!

Or perhaps I have finally arrived in fall.
Carpe diem and seize the season!

What is your favorite fall tradition?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

campfire comfort

There is poetry on the lake and a song in the trees.
How simple, how pure does nature appear -
All the while teeming
With life, with heart, with stories unheard.

The Mister and I spent a night in the woods this past weekend. We loaded up the cooler and our pupsqueak and unplugged from our hustle and bustle life.

We played in the woods, feasted over a campfire, and dreamed under the stars.

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Just what we needed.