Because I Love To Run

Guess what I’m doing on this beautiful day…National Running Day?!


…not running.

At first I was utterly disappointed about the fact that I am not running today. I love running, and not participating in this wonderful and challenging sport that I love on its own national holiday just doesn’t seem fair.

But yesterday, as the day went on, that little pain in my knee started to go away. This morning when I woke up there was absolutely no evidence of any knee pain.

And for Chicago’s sake (and successful marathon training’s sake and potential PR’s sake), I want to keep it that way!

So instead, I am going to celebrate National Running Day by spending some quality time with some weight machines and dumbbells…so that when it’s time I will be running better than ever!

Today I don’t run because I love to run.


Happy Birthday Husband

Journal entry from 8-5-02:

I don’t write that often, but when something wonderful comes along, I have to leave a memory of it. You never know how long good things last, and this is too good to leave unsaid. I’ve known this guy for awhile because he goes to my church. We took a trip to Colorado and I think that’s when it happened. We are dating now, and it is just wonderful. The bad thing is he’s leaving. He’s going to community college two and a half hours away from me. He leaves August 24th. I don’t know what is going to happen when he leaves; I am too afraid to ask. I don’t want this to end…it’s too much happiness to end. I guess I will just have to wait and see. I just pray that everything will end well and happily ever after!…but you never know.

There is a quote that I find good for this situation…

“I don’t know how God could allow us to meet if there’s no way we can be together.”
-City of Angels

Twenty-eight years ago today the man of my dreams was born. We have been together now a little over nine years and married over three of those…and they have been the best years of my life. And the best thing of all is that I know that the best is yet to come for us.

Matt is an amazing man…he’s a great teacher, a caring person, and the most supportive and loving husband a girl could ask for. I thank God that I am the lucky one to wake up and fall asleep next to him every day.

Happy birthday husband. I absolutely love you.


Dear Diary Ramblings

Dear Diary,

I am writing this to “dear diary” instead of my dear readers because I’m not sure if any reader will make it to the end of this post. When I was younger…way younger…I used to write to “dear diary” (or “dear journal” when I got older…because “journal” is much more mature than “diary”) all the time. Now looking back, when I wrote to said diary or journal, I usually just rambled on about the day, or the week, or whatever was going on in my life at the time and how I felt about it.

Which is what I’m about to do now.

I’ve turned into a mail stalker. Well, a stalker of my own mail…which isn’t very helpful when someone parks their car in front of your mailbox so that the mailman cannot even put the mail into the mailbox. You see, I’m waiting for my letter of acceptance, or yet, rejection, to nursing school from the university here. Last March when I became a mail stalker for the exact same reason, I ended up being let down when the rejection letter came. Rejection letter. So negative. So cruel. So accurate. So messed up. Me…the person who put in one hundred and eleven percent to make sure I had to grades to get in. Didn’t. Get. In.


But I keep telling myself not to get my hopes up. I have already been accepted to another school for nursing. A different school. A great school. A school that is a little over an hour away from my husband’s job.

Oh. Therein-lies the problem.

But at least I have options. I’m not getting my hopes up. Or am I? I don’t know…I guess I’ll find out when the letter comes in.  Okay, so I think I am getting my hopes up, but I know I shouldn’t, so I’m trying (and failing) not to.

Okay, so I even sent a text message to our renters. “Hey, it’s Ang. Will you let me know if you get some mail for me from the University of Central Missouri?” I honestly don’t know which address the letter will be sent to. “No u dont have anthng frm there,” she says, “I will let u kno if somthng come.”

It doesn’t matter if the renters get the letter first and I cannot get it right away. All I have to know is if it’s a small envelope or a large envelope. Small equals no deal. Big equals accepted.

I know, Diary, you’re thinking why does it matter. You have already been accepted to another school. A good school…a great school. I am so thankful for that school, and I have even already put some money toward that school. But…I also know that means I’ll have to be away from my husband. Not all the time. Not everyday. But sometimes.

And I already know what that feels like. Just that “sometimes.” And I already know that I don’t like it.

We lived apart for the first five years of our relationship (dating). We survived it, but I didn’t like it. When Matt proposed to me I remember that he said, “I never want to be apart from you for the rest of my life.” Well, I’ve learned that sometimes wants are different that have tos. We lived apart for a semester last year (when we were married) when we were teaching in different cities. I was sad. It was hard. I could add a lot more three word sentences to describe to crappy (earmuffs) situation. We survived it…but that doesn’t mean I liked it.

I think that some people think I’m crazy. I moved away (not that far) to be with my husband. We spend most of our time together…just the two of us. We have fun together. All the time. Just the two of us. We argue, rarely, and then we have fun together again. When people refer to him as “my other half,” why then, they are absolutely correct. He really is my other half, and without him I am not me. At least I don’t feel like me.

So yes. I can get through it. We can survive it…being apart, I mean…but wouldn’t it be nice not to have to “survive” it again?

So yeah, I guess I’m getting my hopes up.

And why, you ask, am I bringing all this up now? Well, the husband is gone for the night for a coaching conference, and I watched some Grey’s Anatomy which made me think about my marriage (because Meredith and Derek just need to get over it already and make up (Grey’s seems a lot better when watched with a glass of wine) oh geez, I have parenthesis inside parenthesis now), and because I’ve had a couple glasses of wine. All perfectly good and explainable reasons. Yes?

And sometimes I feel sad. Sad because I want to have a baby. Like now. Not in three years. The husband has always been the one wanting to wait. He had this five year plan. I thought it was completely silly. Five years. Pffsssh! I thought I’d have a baby by twenty-five.

Definitely laughable now.

We want to wait until I’m done with school…and I’m the silly one who decided to go back to school. But a few weeks ago he put his hand on my stomach and said he couldn’t wait until we were going to have a baby. It made me feel all warm and happy inside, but I’m sure I just changed the subject by accusing him of calling me fat for rubbing his hand on my belly and even thinking about pregnancy. I do that a lot…accuse him of saying I’m fat…which is the most obscure and obscene thing in the world. He would never say anything other than the fact that he thinks I’m the most beautiful thing to have ever walked the earth. It has to be true, too, since he finds most actresses non-attractice. Or at least that’s what he tells me now. I guess he has to…ever since he told me he thought Jessica Biel was pretty I’ve accused him of having a major crush on her and wanting to marry her. But I think he means it.

He’s never made me feel anything less than a princess…since I was sixteen years old.

I guess life just turns out funny sometimes. I walk down the short hallway of our two-bedroom little duplex and wonder how we ever got here. It’s better than our last-even smaller-duplex, but nonetheless, not where I imagined I’d be at twenty-six. I look at my stack of anatomy and physiology books sitting on my desk and think it’s crazy that those ever ended up on my desk. Anyone who has ever known me never would have guessed I’d be going into nursing now. Why would I? I do art. I look at my little Tia’s face and think to myself how could I love anything else any more…but that’s because she is my baby.

But yet, even though things aren’t quite how I imagined…I know I’m still one of the lucky ones. I’ve overcome obstacles. I’ve rallied. I’ve persevered. And I’ve smiled and laughed and giggled more than most get the opportunity to.

And for that I’m thankful.

And if you made it to the end of this ridiculous post…for that I’m thankful, too.


Three Girls and a Plumber

The hubby is away this weekend. While I hate being away from him for any amount of time, his overwhelming excitement for a weekend full of camping in 100 degree weather, sharing a tent with three other guys, and attempting for the second time to make gravy on a barbeque grill, I can’t help but be excited for him too! (Should I also add that he grew out his beard so that he’d be able to sport a “Keith Stone” mustache and soul patch for the weekend? Maybe not!)

Instead of sulking around my house by myself, talking to Tia like she has a vocabulary that is larger than “treat,” “hungry,” “outside,” “go poddy,” “go poopoop,” “ball,” and “I love you little Tititititititititititiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii,” I decided it’d be the perfect time for a girls night with my madre and sister…

…and mom’s hubby, the plumber!

And in case you didn’t know, if it weren’t for me and my sister, this marriage may not have even happened. Why? Well, let’s go back in time…

Uh oh. The basement drain is backing up (for reasons only left to your imagination…three girls, one house), and my sister and I don’t know what to do! We call mom at work…she calls a plumber.

Well, she doesn’t want to leave two girls at home alone with a strange plumber man in the house, so she comes home on her lunch break. Mom walks in, comes to Maggie and me and says, “Man, that plumber is cute!”

Mom decides he’s safe, goes back to work, and leaves Maggie and me at the house alone…with two wild imaginations, some brains, some brawn, and one crazy idea.

“Maggie,” I say, “Go give him mom’s phone number!”

Maggie replies, “NO! I can’t do that!”

“But Maggie, what if he’s the one?!”

Seriously. Valid question.

The plan: I write down mom’s phone number on a piece of paper. Maggie brings a glass of water downstairs to offer to the strange, but cute, plumber man. She asks if he’s single…then when he replies yes, she gives him mom’s phone number…and well, the water, too!

And the rest?


Fate? Or the work of two genius, smart, beautiful, caring, loving, grateful daughters?!

I say both! 🙂


Book Club Post…Five Hundred and Thirteen Pages

Finally…book club is back (like, four years later)! And since nearly half a decade has passed since I have written about my girlies from Ames, I have four whole chapters to recap (yikes!) So, I’ve decided to do this post a little differently so that I don’t end up writing a nine-hundred and seventy-three page book report!

For each chapter, I will pick out my favorite quote, and then write about what that quote means to me…then you can do the same (if you want to)!

The Intervention

Studies suggest that the average girl today is likely to grow up to be a lifelong dieter, to have a distorted body image, and to be emotionally scarred by cliques.”

Poor Sally to have to go through that. It takes a very strong person to come out of such a devastating situation with so much forgiveness.

And, of course I’d pick this quote in this chapter. The most disturbing word here is “likely”…the average girl is likely. A couple paragraphs later this “likeliness” is referred to as a “national crisis”. A national crisis indeed!

When did we (girls, women, media, people) become so mean…so comparing…so judgmental?! I’m not saying I’m innocent either, although I like to think that I keep other peoples’ feelings in mind before I speak. But again, I’m not innocent. I catch myself making comments about people on television, about people I see in a store, about myself. Then I feel like a hypocrite for preaching about owning your beauty here on my blog.

However, I do think if we all (as in everyone in this world!) could make a conscious effort to change the way we talk about other people, change the way we talk to ourselves, and stop comparing ourselves to other people (easier said than done, I know), then we could change this “likeliness”.

I read a quote from Lolly on twitter today that read,

When you know who you are~you are more accepting of others.”

This sentence is so true. Live it…..and remember that you are deserving and beautiful and admirable…and you will see those traits in others, too!

FBB and Other Secrets

There were times when they felt humiliated or ashamed and kept it to themselves.”

I chose this quote because it is so me. I definitely find it hard to talk about the difficult things in life, and I’d rather people view me as a happy person! But I have learned to keeping up a happy face is not always possible…..and that’s okay! The funny thing about it is, whenever I actually have talked to someone about my problems, I always feel better afterward…then I can actually go back to being happy!

Defining Love

“‘I think we’re meant to truly love one person, to have a life partner.'” 

Okay…so I loved this chapter!!! (Of course this sappy, lovey-dovey chapter would be my favorite!) I feel like I can relate so much to Karla in this chapter. I feel incredibly lucky to have found my life partner…my soul mate…my one true love! I agree with Karla in that I believe God put two people in this world who are just meant for each other!

And I can partly agree with Kelly. I don’t necessarily agree that a person should have a new love with every stage of their life. But, witnessing my mother get married last year to a man that is not my dad has made me believe that it is possible to love more than once in a lifetime. I know that my parents loved each other, and without that love, my sister and I wouldn’t be here. But I also know that after so long, my parents were not right for each other. Now my mom is happy in love again (and I’m working on my dad…anyone know any lovely, single 40-50 year olds?! Hehe!)

And although I don’t have children yet, I admire Karla’s love for her daughter, too. I believe when I am a mother I will feel that same way. I also loved the quote in this chapter, “The girls watched her snuggle with her baby, partly envying her and partly wondering about the ways in which loving feelings would swell inside them when their time came to be mothers.” I feel the same way when I watch other people with their babies, and I just cannot wait to be a mother someday!

“If Not for You”

Women need other women.Dare I say…sometimes women just understand better than men. I adore my husband, and I will always tell him everything, but I will always need some lovely lady to rely on. I’ve always had my mom and sister there for me if I ever needed anything, and now I feel like I have a strong core of girlfriends that are always there for me, as well. I know that my mom feels a lot of the time that I am grown up and don’t need her anymore…but mom, I will always need you. (And you too, Maggie, and all my girlies!) Always.

Sorry…this did end up pretty close to a five hundred and thirteen page book report! What were your favorite quotes of these chapters? If you aren’t that far, or just aren’t reading the book, what do these quotes mean to you?



Oh my goodness! Life has been pretty hectic since Mexico!

(I borrowed this picture from my BFF Heather…thanks girl! I haven’t even had time to upload my own photos yet!)

The vacation was absolutely wonderful! I promise there will be more pictures to come!

However, I have been a bad, bad blogger! It’s just that everything has been a whirlwind since we returned…first Father’s Day (love you Pops, and Pops-in-law, and Rob), then being sick (they say don’t drink the water in Mexico…but what do you do when you’re thirsty?!), then the hubs and I immediately started moving into our new duplex because I could not stay one more night in the presence of a million spiders at the old place. I’m not exaggerating either…I’m sure there were a million spiders there (okay, okay…more like seventy-three…but close enough, right?!) Anyway…I’m still not completely moved, still not completely unpacked (or even close to being unpacked), and the laundry is still piled to the ceiling. But, I wanted to get a quickie post in for a little “bloggie-housekeeping”, and because I miss “talking” to YOU, hearing from you, and reading your blogs, too!

First on my bloggie-housekeeping to-do list…THANK YOU for everyone who has purchased soaps from Soap It Up, Gourmet Soaps By Di to support my fundraising as a SoleMate for Girls on the Run! So far Soap It Up has raised $20.00 for Girls on the Run! 

If you didn’t see my post earlier this month, Soap It Up is donating $1 for each bar of soap sold…and it has now been extended through July 15th! (My goal is to raise $100 from these delightful little soaps…I’m 20% there!) Please take advantage of this special because I PROMISE that you will ADORE these soaps. I recommend cherry, lemonade, red clover tea, cotton candy, or patchouli orange for that special muchacho in your life! You can smell delicious AND support preteen girls! Yes!!!

Number two on the bloggie-housekeeping chore list…I haven’t forgot about my book club!I’m sure you noticed that I missed the weekly book club post this Tuesday, but I will be making the next book club post next Tuesday. I brought my book the Mexico with me with hopes of reading on the plane or on the beach, but I became too engrossed with looking out the window at the clouds or playing (yes, playing…I’m like a child) in the sand. Also, half of the people reading the book with me were also in Mexico…and I didn’t notice any of you girls reading, either! So, anyway…book club next Tuesday…it’s a date!

Lastly on my housekeeping list…I just want to let everyone know how much I’ve missed you (and you and you and you!) Still, my posts and comments might be a little sporadic for a little while longer until I finish this moving business! Being on the beach for a week has given me so much inspiration on future blog posts, and I have several exciting things coming up in the future to write about!

…but for now, it’s late…(uh, I mean early?)…and my overuse of exclamation marks leads me to believe that I need to calm down and go to sleep!

xoxo, ang

So, You’re Telling Me I’m Going To Live ‘Til I’m 103

But those with the most friends outlived those with the least friends by 22 percent.” The Girls From Ames, page 97

I’m not trying to brag, by any means, but I just feel so lucky to be in the position that I am in today. Somehow, by the amazing grace of God, I have been so privileged to gain the friendships of some pretty amazing girls.

I grew up in a household with my mom and sister. These two ladies have been my best friends for my entire life. We have memories stored for decades!

Then there are my girlfriends today. Heather, Casey, Kellie, Megan, Lauren, Candice. I have never felt so close to a group of girls before. I think a big part of that is due to the fact that I am sure of who I am now. I can be me. Completely. While our friendships do not go all the way back to our childhoods like the Girls From Ames’ friendships, there is still great meaning, many memories, and a feeling of longevity. To be truthful, our friendship is only about two or three years old, but most of us seem to feel like we’ve known each other forever. Everything I foresee in my own future, I see happening with my girlfriends.

I remember Megan’s wedding, Lauren’s wedding, Heather’s wedding, and Kellie’s wedding. I remember when Heather asked me to be in her wedding…she had already had her bridesmaids picked out for the past few months, but she felt like she had to add a tenth (yes, ten!) because we had become such good friends in a short amount of time. I remember meeting Casey at Heather’s bachelorette party. We talked to each other like we were already friends. Even other people at the party assumed we had known each other a long time. I remember dancing the night away at Heather’s wedding on the sticky dance floor from all the spilled drinks. I think it’s funny now…Heather told me that right before she met me, her boyfriend (now husband) warned her that I was very quiet and shy. I guess she took it with a grain of salt and the rest is history. I remember how beautiful Lauren looked on her wedding day. Well, I remember how beautiful everyone looked on their wedding day (Candice only by the photos.) I remember when Megan told us she was pregnant, and how we all felt so happy for her new and long-awaited pregnancy. I remember kissing Kellie in the bathroom on her wedding day. In only three years time, it’s funny all the fun/crazy/sad/happy memories I can recall.

Heather, Casey, Me, Lauren, Megan

What I find somewhat interesting, is that, according to the studies, it is hardest to maintain friendships between the ages of 25 and 40. We have all “discovered” our friendships between these ages. I think it is because the thing that makes it hard to sustain a friendship during these times, marriage, careers, and children, are what binds us together. Many of us became friends because of our marriages. I never would have met Heather or Lauren or Megan if it weren’t for my husband already being friends with their husbands. Most of our friends are ready to start their own families, so that is making their bonds even tighter (I’m sort of lagging behind on that one…sorry mom, not yet.)

I do have a little bit of a fear that something, somewhere will pull us apart…there is always a fear of losing the people you love. However, I think we all kind of know that maintaining our friendships will be a little bit harder once there are little babies running around our lives or in my case, when nursing school will be consuming my life…but I think because we know this, we will try harder to make it work. The phone calls, e-mails, get-togethers may not be as frequent, but the times together will be more meaningful!

I also find it necessary to speak to the friendships I have made through blogging! I am truly beyond humbled to see that people who I have never even met before take the time come to my blog, read what I have to say, and leave meaningful, beautiful comments. I never thought what I had to say really mattered all that much. I am grateful for you girls who stop by and leave a piece of yourself here. I am truly thankful!

In this chapter, The Things They Remember, there were so many studies talked about on how womens’ friendships are beneficial…longer lives, better health, better marriages, more oxytocin, less stress. I find it interesting that a study from the Harvard Medical School found that isolation, or too much time away from friends, has the same effect as smoking, overeating, or drinking too much. In conclusion, putting all the scientific data together, I do think I will probably live until I’m 103. 🙂


They Still Call Themselves “Girls”

I snatched up The Girls From Ames from my local public library last week. A few days later I picked up the book and began reading. After the first page I had wished that I had bought the book because I have the urge to highlight just about every other sentence! Instead, I’ve doggie-eared about half of the pages from the intro and first chapter.

Just into the first few pages, my throat started to knot up a few times…I have a feeling this book is going to be beyond emotional (at least for me). I think that I feel over-the-top emotional as I’m reading because I am relating it so much to my own life and my own friendships. I’m already picking out which girls I most relate to, and which girls are most like my friends (and family…because you are my friends, too.) 

I was surprised at first when I read in the intro that they still called themselves girls, but right away, I appreciated the honesty in that statement. Growing up is a funny thing. When I was a kid, I thought people my age were so old! They have jobs, marriages, families, bills…OLD! However, now that I am “old,” I still feel like I am that girl in high school. I’ve coached middle school and high school age girls in volleyball, and I felt like they could be my friends…that was until I realized I was ten years older than them! A decade!

When I am around my friends though…I am that girl…I feel like a girl, not a “woman” and I am okay with it. I kind of hope that I always just feel like “a girl.”

I know I posed the question which of the eleven girls do you most relate with, but I’m going to take the easy way out. I read and reread trying to pick out which girl was “me,” but I just couldn’t pin-point one of the girls. I saw bits and pieces of myself in each one of them…well, except for Kelly. Kelly definitely seems like the most outgoing girl of the group, and right away I relate her to my little sister. Just like the other ten girls looked to Kelly to ask the question that they were all thinking but were too afraid to ask…that is kind of how my sister was for me. I didn’t buy a thong until I found out she had bought and worn thongs (yes, the panties, not the shoes!) I didn’t drink until after she drank. I even made her ask out my mom’s now new husband for her, because I was too scared!

I relate to Marilyn as she is described as a bit of an outsider. Growing up I had a lot of friends, but I was never totally “in” with all of their groups. I relate with Sheila for having the dark hair and being the little girl everyone thought was cute. I relate to Karla for “not always being sure of herself.” While I feel sure of who I am as a person now, I still have an insecurity when it comes to meeting new people.

How did we all get here? The girls in the book don’t really remember how they all arrived at being best friends. Is this the same for you? I do remember meeting my first real best friend the first day of kindergarten. My anxiety and insecurity with meeting new people has been a part of me all my life, but I guess at age six I didn’t let it get the best of me! I remember getting on the bus my first day of school and finding another kindergartener that I thought was pretty. Then I simply asked, “Do you want to be my friend?”

Thank goodness she said yes!

Now, as an older “girl” living in a new town with the same anxiety about meeting people…I wish I could just go back to being that six year old girl and just ask the people here if they want to be my friend!

Aside from my family, my closest friends now are friends that are newer in my life…friends that I’ve made since being married (and through being married); therefore, for the most part, I remember when and how I met each one of them. Now, how we became best friends out of all the other girls we know, I think that answer could only come from God.

This is the same for the bloggie-world. I have “met” some girls through reading their blogs, and I have felt an instant connection with some of them. How did we get here? How did I find my way to their blogs out of the millions of blogs out there?!

There was another line in the book that caught my eye. Zaslow talks about how the girls are popular and not afraid to “strut their stuff,” but that they are actually insecure individually. I think this is true of almost all adolescents, and probably true in many adults. I’ve already admitted to having anxiety about meeting new people (amongst the zillion other anxieties I have), but a good group of friends is powerful.

You girls give me a security that I would not otherwise have. I believe that is why God gave me YOU…He knew what I needed, and He provided me with it.

I’ve talked too much now about myself and my thoughts…not it is your turn. Tell me what you think! (Please!)


P.S. I LOVE this book!