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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!