Weekend Wrap-Up

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July!
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I’m pacing a fall marathon training group for Fleet Feet.  If you’re in the area, you should sign up to train with us!!  We had a really fun group for this week’s 12 miler!!
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This was also Day 1 of my NYC Marathon training!
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It was a super hot and humid run.  I looked like I had jumped in a pool, so this cold kiwi didn’t stand a chance when I got home!
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Nothing says America, like tex-mex for lunch!
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Jason and I went to downtown Franklin for their 4th of July festival.
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And, we picked up a coffee and the greatest homemade oatmeal cream pie from Honest Coffee!!!
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Sadly, we had big storms all night.  The local fireworks and grill-outs were cancelled.  We decided to go to Sunflower Cafe and I’m so glad we did.  Their vegan BBQ sliders were the bomb!
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Sunday:
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I had the gym to myself for a surprisingly good treadmill run.  My legs are still heavy from the North Fork 50 last weekend, so I stopped at 8 miles.  I’m not 100%, but grateful that my body has bounced back pretty quickly.
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I met Jason at First Watch for a fruit and oats breakfast.
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After rave reviews, I broke down and bought a Yeti mug.  Apparently they’re the greatest mug ever.  I’m curious to give it a try!
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Kindness is magic…so is coffee.
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The sun finally peaked out.  I got to enjoy our front porch while the patriotic swags were still up.
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We had dinner on the Burger Up patio…salad with a quinoa patty and rose to drink.  Perfect!
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How was your 4th?  Did anyone else have to cancel plans because of the rain?

Do you have any Yeti products?  Thoughts?

Are you running a fall marathon?  NYC?

Peak and Pit from the weekend?  Peak: A nice, low-key weekend!  Pit:  The rainy weather.

#choosejoy

Memorial Day

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As many of us in the United States are enjoying the three-day weekend, it’s nice to pause and reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day.

1.  It was originally called Decoration Day.  In 1868, three years after the Civil War ended, Union veterans called for the creation of Decoration Day as a nationwide decorating of the graves with flowers for those who died in the war.  On May 30th of that year, 5,000 observers decorated more than 20,000 Union and Confederate graves at Arlington National Cemetery.

2.  As with many holidays, there is controversy over the first Memorial Day.  In 1865, a group of former slaves created a proper burial site for more than 250 Union soldiers.  About 10,000 people gathered that year to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers.

3.  Memorial Day originally began as a way to honor those who died while serving in the Civil War.  During World War I, the holiday was expanded to honor fallen soldiers in any conflict.

4.  Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be observed the last Monday of May in 1971.

5.  Four Federal holidays are observed on a Monday: Memorial Day, George Washington’s birthday, Labor Day, and Columbus Day.

6.  Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day.  Memorial Day is a day to remember those who died while serving.  Veterans Day (November 11) celebrates the service of all US military veterans.

7.  A National Memorial Day observance continues to be held at Arlington National Cemetery.  The Old Guard places little American flags at the gravesites of service members buried at Arlington National Cemetery on the Thursday before Memorial day every year.

8.  All Americans are supposed to pause for a minute of silence at 3pm local time on Memorial Day to pay tribute to the men and women who died serving the nation.

9.  Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA contains the remains of more than 400,000 people from the US and eleven other countries.

10.  More than 4 million people visit Arlington National Cemetery annually.

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Weekend Wrap-Up

Saturday:
I busted open a fresh pair of Saucony Kinvara’s.  These will be my Boston Marathon shoes!!
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I wore them to pace my Fleet Feet CMM group for 18 miles…felt great!
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I didn’t feel like cooking steel-cut oats after my run, so I had the next best option…Umpqua Instant Oats.  They’re SO good!!
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It was game day, so I sported my Kentucky blue.  Spoiler alert: they lost, but it was one heck of a season!
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I decided that I’m tired of skinny jeans.  Yes, they’re cool.  Yes, they make me feel like a sausage link.  So, I bought a pair of bootcut jeans.  Note: the pair that fits me best is for a curvy body type!
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I celebrated my long run with a glass of champagne.  It’s a good tradition.
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Were you able to see the blood moon eclipse?
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Easter Sunday:
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I went for an early morning workout, and came home to my husband!!  He was supposed to be out of town, but managed to come home for the day.  Great surprise!!!!
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I see this joke every year and it always cracks me up!
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I took advantage of some down time and enjoyed our front porch swing 🙂
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If you’ve been reading along for a while, you know that we don’t have any kids.  Easter is one of those days where I wish we did.  It would be so much fun to play Easter bunny.  Plus, I could share their candy.  (NOTE: this is totally not a reason to have a kid!)  But, I didn’t have a single jelly bean, Peep, or Reese’s Egg this year.  Crazy!  Follow me on Twitter HERE!!!
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It’s hard to believe that Lent is over.  For 44 days, I gave up sweets and added a daily Joy Jar ritual.  I’m so glad the sweets are back in my life!! However, I do plan to continue with my Joy Jar.  It’s such a nice practice to write down something I’m thankful for every day.  And, I love the physical reminder of seeing my jar accumulate gratitude.
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Totally random question: Are you dipper?  I always order my salad dressing, ketchup, syrup, etc…on the side.  I feel like I should have outgrown this practice in kindergarten.
Do you believe in the omen of the blood moon?  Is there a big change or event happening in your life?
Easter highlight?  unexpectedly getting to spend the day with my husband!
Favorite Easter candy? I like Peeps (preferably the bunnies) and Reese’s Eggs.
#choosejoy

Holy Week

In February, I wrote a short blog post about Ash Wednesday and Lent.  As the Lenten Season is coming to an end, it makes sense to do a post about Holy Week.

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What is Holy Week?

It is the week before Easter.  Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday and includes Spy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.  It does not include Easter Sunday which is the beginning of another liturgical week.  Holy Week commemorates the Passion of Christ.  It is solemn and sorrowful, but anticipates the joy of Easter.

Palm Sunday:

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Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week with Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem where palm branches were placed in His path.

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Spy Wednesday:

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This is the day that Judas betrayed Jesus.  Judas acted as a spy for the Sanhedrin by accepting 30 pieces of silver in return for information that led to the betrayal of Christ.

Maundy Thursday:

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Christ celebrated the Last Supper with His disciples.  Maundy Thursday is the oldest of the Holy Week celebrations.  During the Last Supper, Christ blessed the bread and wine and said to His disciples “love one another, as I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

The church altar is stripped bare and all bells in the church are silent until the Gloria at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday.

Good Friday:

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The crucifixion of Christ is commemorated.  No mass is celebrated on Good Friday and it is traditionally a day of fasting and penance.

Holy Saturday:

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Holy Saturday is the final day of Lent and of Holy Week.  It commemorates the day that Jesus Christ’s body lay in the tomb before His resurrection.  It is also known as the Easter Vigil.  An Easter Vigil Mass takes place after sundown on Holy Saturday.

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Easter Sunday!

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Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  Through the 40 days of Lent, we have prepared ourselves to rise again with Him in new life on Easter.

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Here is a great video: Holy Week in Two Minutes!

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May you have a blessed week!

Shamrocks and Shenanigans 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Irish Blessing

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Fun Facts

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  • St. Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17 because that is the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is believed that he died on March 17 in the year 461 AD. It is also a worldwide celebration of Irish culture and history. St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday in Ireland, and a provincial holiday in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • The actual color of St. Patrick is blue. Green became associated with St. Patrick’s Day during the 19th century. Green, in Irish legends, was worn by fairies and immortals, and also by people to encourage their crops to grow.
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  • St. Patrick did not actually drive snakes out of Ireland; the snakes represent the pagans that he converted to Christianity.
  • The very first St. Patrick’s Day parade was not in Ireland. It was in Boston in 1737.
  • The phrase, “Drowning The Shamrock” is from the custom of floating the shamrock on the top of whiskey before drinking it. The Irish believe that if you keep the custom, then you will have a prosperous year.
  • One estimate suggests that there are about 10,000 regular three-leaf clovers for every lucky four-leaf clover.
  • The average amount American St. Patrick’s Day revelers will spend this holiday is $36.52 per person, totaling a combined $4.6 billion, according to a report by the National Retail Federation. (Source)

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Irish Blessing

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What’s your Leprechaun  name?

Page corner with St. Patrick's Day green hat of a leprechaun

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Are you going out to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? I’ve never really celebrated.  I don’t think St. Patrick’s Day is as popular in the south.

Do you cook any traditional foods to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Are you wearing green?  Yes!

What was your leprechaun name? Jolly O’Goofy!

#choosejoy

I’m in the mood for…

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Here is a love letter that Johnny Cash wrote to his wife, June Carter Cash.

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Valentine’s Day Fun Facts:

1. Valentine’s Day started with the Romans. There are two theories about the origin of Valentine’s Day. The first is that the day derives from Lupercalia, a raucous Roman festival on February 15 where men stripped naked and spanked young maidens in hopes of upping their fertility. The second theory is that while the Roman Emperor Claudius II was trying to bolster his army, he forbade young men to marry (apparently single men make better soldiers). In the spirit of love, St. Valentine defied the ban and performed secret marriages. For his disobedience, Valentine was executed on February 14.

2. It’s not the most popular holiday for greeting cards. According to the Greeting Card Association, 190 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second most popular greeting card–giving occasion, after Christmas.

3. Single ladies have a good shot at finding a date. There are 119 single men—never married, widowed or divorced—in their 20s for every 100 single women of the same age.

4. True love is apparently not that hard to find. Over two million marriages take place in the United States every year. That means there are more than 6,000 a day!

5. Husbands and boyfriends like to give bouquets. Men account for 73 percent of Valentine’s Day flower sales.

6. Roses are the flowers of love. The favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love? The red rose, of course. The bud stands for strong romantic feelings, so it’s no surprise they make up the most popular Valentine’s Day bouquets.

7. “Wearing your heart on your sleeve” is more than just a phrase. In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names to see who their Valentine would be. They would wear the name pinned to their sleeve for one week so that everyone would know their supposed true feelings.

8. Money can buy love. The average U.S. consumer spent around $102 on Valentine’s Day gifts, meals and entertainment in 2009, according to an annual U.S. National Retail Federation survey. Roughly 92 percent of married Americans with children will spend most of that money (about $67) on their spouse; the rest goes to Valentine’s Day gifts for kids, friends, coworkers and even pets.

9. Americans have a serious sweet tooth. According to the National Confectioners Association, about eight billion candy hearts were made in 2009.

10. The chocolate box has been around for more than 140 years. The first Valentine’s Day box of chocolates was introduced by Richard Cadbury in 1868.

(Source)

Happy Valentine’s Day!!  XOXO

Valentine’s Day plans?

Do you prefer to go out or stay in?

What’s your favorite flower?

#choosejoy and love!

Champagne is Always the Answer

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I love all things champagne, sparkling wine, prosecco….you get the picture.  Bubbles are good and the New Year is a perfect time to pop a cork.  Although, I can’t really think of a bad time.

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In our house, we actually have a pizza and champs tradition!

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How NOT to open a bottle of champagne…

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And, now a short how-to video on how to properly pop a bottle…

I love a Bubbly Bar!  Here are a few ideas for your next party…

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Fun facts:

1.  1, 750 ml bottle fills 6 flutes.  Estimate 3 glasses per guest when buying champagne.

2.  In a 750ml bottle of Champagne there are 49 million bubbles… approximately.

3.  Champagne has three times more gas than beer.

4.  There is about 90 pounds per square inch of pressure in a bottle of Champagne. That’s more than triple the pressure in an automobile tire.

5.  Champagne and death – anyhow the comforting fact is that you are more likely to be killed by a flying Champagne cork than to be killed by a poisonous spider.

6.  A somewhat surprising fact perhaps, but marketing surveys have shown that concert-goers of hip-hop concerts, rap and R & B gigs, are 94% more likely to drink Champagne than the average person.

7.  In the movie adaptations James Bond drinks Champagne more than any other beverage (nearly 40 glasses and counting).

8.   The longest recorded flight of a Champagne cork is over 177 feet

9.  Champagne is only produced from the French region of Champagne. It is believed that this wine was invented by the Benedictine monk, Dom Perignon. He allowed the carbon dioxide to form inside the bottle, giving rise to bubbles.

10.  If it’s not from the Champagne region of France, it’s called sparkling wine…not champagne.  And that’s ok…I love it, too!

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Bubbles are so much fun…

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I hate when this happens…

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Like a boyscout, you should ALWAYS be prepared.

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Cheers to a very Happy New Year!

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Will you be popping a bottle for your New Year’s celebration?

Do you actually stay up until midnight?

Will you be participating in a resolution run?

#choosejoy