It’s been awhile

Wow I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks but I have been embracing summer:)  As a high school teacher summer is amazing especially after how busy my school year was at the end.  Dave and I have been busy doing stuff around our house and have been doing yard work which I secretly enjoy.  Shhh don’t tell Dave.  Dave also started a project in our upstairs.  All we wanted to do was change our trim from eggshell to white.  No big deal right?  Well it turned into a huge project which included painting the doors, window frames, cabinets, and banister and changing out the outlets.  A huge project but we are just about done.  Dave and I had an awesome 4th of July where we went hiking at Mt. St. Helens which was incredible.  This past weekend we got to see two of our favorite Portland people get married.

Ciara actually lived with Dave and I for a couple of months so we had the privilege to get to know her and Ryan really well.  On Monday morning I got up bright and early like 3am early and went to the airport to go to Palm Springs, California.  Why you ask?  Well I volunteered to go for my school to a conference put on by Pearson, an educational company, about Common Core.  We are changing from state to National standards so Pearson paid for everyone to come here.  I flew from Portland to Salt Lake City and then from Salt Lake to Palm Springs.  I got off the plane and was greeted by a blast of hot desert air.  It is beautiful here, hot but amazing.

The mountains are so different than the ones we have in Portland.  I was checked into the JW Marriot Resort which is amazing by 1:00 so I took off to the fitness center for a treadmill run.  I knew I wasn’t going outside in that weather.  After I hit up the pool.

Side note – I put this on instagram and got several likes and a comment from my husband about my toes.  Let’s just say this last marathon wasn’t to hot on my toenails and I am down 3 of them.  Gross right?  Oh well nothing a little nail polish can’t hide:)  The week has been great.  I have gotten up early to run every morning solely because if I am not out by 5:30am it’s 90 degrees out by 7:)  I went not knowing anyone but luckily I saw some teachers from a local high school and they have let me hang out with them all week.  A little out of my comfort zone but I am getting a lot better and just doing stuff and getting out there.  Here are some other pictures I have taken during the week.

Pool Time

More Pool Time

What I see on my run

My hotel – the lobby

The river inside the lobby

Just some flamingos hanging out at the front

Took a walk and saw this view – amazing.

Don’t worry it hasn’t been all play.  I have attended morning and afternoon sessions but I am glad we are free mid-afternoon just to hang out.  I miss Dave – shocker I know:)  But I feel very honored to have been able to come to this conference and be here.  By far the best education conference location I have ever been too.  Today’s my last day and tomorrow I get back to Portland at around 4:30.  Then it’s back to real life and next week I start summer school for 3 weeks.  Don’t worry it’s only 3 hours a day so I will still be living my summer dream:)  Also one last piece of information.  I received some terrible news on Tuesday that the family dog had to be put to sleep.  While it was devastating especially for my mom he’s not suffering and this is better.  Buddy was a crazy schnauzer but we loved him so much.  I remember getting ready to go to college and the summer before Nathan, my younger brother bought the dog.  I always thought I wouldn’t connect with him since I wasn’t always home but I loved that dog and he always remembered me it was crazy.  Even after I was gone for over a year and a half when I came back last fall he jumped into my arms.  The only picture I have is from my phone so it’s not that great so I thought I would include this picture of our old dog Elsie and Buddy.

Buddy and Elsie at Christmas Time

Long live Buddy you are missed!



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Congrats and The Olympic Trials

First a quick congrats to these two who are getting married today:

Hated that I couldn’t be here to watch them get married but it’s a beautiful day in Michigan while yes it’s raining in Oregon.  Meg and I have known each other for years and despite running and competing against each other we have remained great friends.  Best of luck to her and Matt.

Anyone else watch the Olympic Track Trials which are in Eugene?  I am that person who check twitter for all the updates last night, have been checking the official schedule and results, watched videos, and read the live feed from runners world.  Don’t worry I have updated Dave which he has thoroughly enjoyed:)  Last night was the final for the women’s and men’s 10,000.  I was pretty confident about the woman’s and who would win and was really excited about Lisa Uhl.  She is a definite up and commer who I think will do great things.  The men’s is where I was really interested as my favorite male runner, Dathan Ritzenhein was trying to qualify for his third Olympic team.  He missed qualifying with the marathon by getting 4th place.  I have watched Dathan running since I was in high school and would watch him in local races.  I even got to meet him which was pretty hilarious.  Even then I knew he was going to be amazing.  I had a friend in college who was friends with him and thought it was hilarious how I would follow him but hey he’s a local Michigan runner.  He now lives out here in Portland with his wife who I ran against in high school and his two kids.  He has had countless injuries but still goes at it.  This along with his faith has only made his story even more appealing to me.  Last night he finished third and with an Olympic qualifying A time!!

That’s Matt Tegankamp in front of him, who went to the University of Madison and is an awesome runner.  The winner was Galen Rupp who actually grew up in Oregon and went to Central Catholic High School in Portland.  Way to represent:)  I am beyond excited for the Olympics if you can’t tell and can’t wait for the Marathon especially after Kara Goucher’s amazing half marathon performance last weekend and for Shalane and Desiree to compete.  I am seeing big things for the men and women this year.

It’s a rainy day in Portland today so it looks like we’ll be doing some inside house projects and relaxing.  Back tomorrow as it’s a special day for Dave and I:)

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The Last Days

Well today marks that day that every school age kid/teen dreams about – the last week of school.  I am sitting here watching my 2nd hour class take their final.  We have 2 days left if this with the students having  a half day on Wednesday and then it’s summer.  Crazy that I still live my life by the ways of school aged people but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I started my class off with a little speech about how proud of them I was and I realized I had to stop before I burst into tears.  You would think I would be used to this by now – the changing of students every year the students graduating and going on to bigger and better things but each year it gets a little harder.  I have to say this has been my favorite year of teaching thus far.  I have loved every other year but for some reason this year was amazing for me.  I feel as if my classrooms became communities where students respected each other and worked hard.  That’s not to say I didn’t have bad days – because I did but the good days far outweighed the bad.  So if you are looking for a great career I would always recommend teaching.  It’s not easy and some days you just don’t think you can go on but in the end the rewards are so great that I go home quite often and say wow this is what I get to do every day:)  I am leaving you with an article about our school.  Click on the word school.  I think this article says it best about our school and the students who go here.

Happy Monday!

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Happy National Running Day

Yep…aside from Christmas, Easter, and birthdays this is an amazing day.  To celebrate I went on my first run since the marathon.  I had planned on doing 5 but for once I listened to my body and did 3.6 miles.  I kept it nice and slow and while I felt a little sore overall it was great.  I honestly feel like a different person when my endorphins get going on a run.  Plus I love the early morning peacefulness of the city waking up.  I’m leaving you with some race pictures from Saturday.

The Boardwalk

Almost to the half marathon spot and only had a smile because I love cheesy race photos:)

Happy Running!!

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Birthday Boy

Today my little brother Nathan turns 23.  I know not so little anymore but I still like to think of him that way even though he just celebrated his 2nd wedding anniversary and is updating the house he owns:)  I still remember when I went off to college and he was in middle school and coming home to my little brother.  Or the nights of babysitting when I was in high school.  I have pretty amazing brothers – let me just say a day doesn’t go by to where I don’t know how blessed I am to have them.  So Nathan happy birthday today.  I remember the day you were born and the McDonald’s pancakes that Derek and I got to have.  I remember signing songs to you when you were just a baby – clearly the only time you thought my voice was good:)  But mostly I remember you being such a great addition to Derek and I.

I am so thankful for all of the times we have together, the amazing half marathon we did – although when is the marathon for us going to happen?  We love you and can’t wait to see you soon!

Yeah my brothers got a little bigger than me and my mom:)


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Newport Marathon

Well it happened today – the marathon that is.   I have now ran 5 marathons which is a lot for me.  Running has always been a part of my life and something I kind of fell into.  I started running because my gym teacher told me I was good at it.  Turns out he was right and I did cross country and track in high school.  I thought for sure that I would run at college and even met with the coach, who was Dave and his brother’s coach and a fellow teacher when I did my student teaching.  My senior year I got burned out really quick and really fast and knew college running wasn’t for me.  I still finished the year running in high school and I still ran all through college but I really thought I was done.  I ended up signing up for the Chicago Marathon with my best friend and the rest is history.  I started with a 3:35 at the Chicago Marathon which was good enough for a Boston Marathon qualifier where I ran a 3:20.  I then ran that same time at the Seattle Marathon and then I ran 3:13 at Portland this past year.  I loved Portland but each time the marathon and the training gets a little bit harder.  I decided to sign up for the Newport Marathon which was on the coast in Newport, OR.

Dave and I love the coast so I did have some selfish reasons for going here:)  We went up on Friday and explored the town.

There is something about the ocean and it’s beauty that reminds me of how awesome our God is and what he creates.  We had a blast and even were able to grill out for dinner.  I was a basket case but by now I think Dave just expects that.  I got up at 5am and took a shuttle to the start.  I really had no idea what to expect.  I really wanted to break 3:10 but I just wasn’t sure.  I have had a pretty rough couple of weeks including my great grandma dying this past Thursday which was expected but still no easier for anyone.  It’s the end of the year at school so I honestly just wanted to go out and enjoy the race and take in the amazing ocean.  I started out with what I thought was too fast and was even in first for a little bit:)  I held on though and finished 9th overall woman with a 3:08:51.  I was ecstatic and am so thankful that I can do stuff like this.  My body is really really sore right now but a good sore.  I think I am done with marathons for a little bit.  Not done with running…..come on half of my blog posts are about running:)  But I am thinking of trying some shorter races like a half marathon so the training is not so time consuming.  Overall Dave and I had a great little getaway and just enjoy the coast.  It is truly like no other place I have ever been.

Thanks for letting me talk about my marathon:)  Happy Saturday.

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My Attempt at Gardening

It has been way too long since I have last posted.  School has just 3 short weeks left and I am feeling it:)  This weekend was a great time of relaxing that we both really needed.  Dave has mostly finished painting our upstairs trim.  It was an eggshell color that was turning a little pink so we refreshed it with some white paint.  It’s a huge job something Dave did awesome at:)  While he did that on Saturday I stuck to the outside.  I weeded, cleaned up debris and transplanted some of my tulips.  I also got my one raised bed ready to be planted in.  I am not the best with plants but I am determined to do better this year.  Thanks to a friend here in Portland and some wise words from the owners of our CSA I decided to stick with seedlings that were already grown instead of the actual seeds.  I did though use seeds for my herb garden and I planted some wildflower seeds.  Here are my results:

ImageDirt for my herb garden


The herb garden complete with sweet basil, chives, and parsley and my wildflowers

ImageMy garden complete with red and green peppers, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, and fennel.


My wild rhubarb

ImageOur roses are starting to bloom


The backyard porch

We still have more we want to do and plant but I am loving what we have so far.  Three day week this week for Dave and I.  I am running my marathon on Saturday at 7am so we are leaving on Friday to drive to the coast.  Hope everyone had a great memorial day and truly remembered those who have served for our country.

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Teacher Appreciation Work

I rarely talk about my job on my blog mainly due to privacy reasons but this is a special week – teacher appreciation week.  I will say that I feel love from my students a lot and do not even need a week but this week has been one of my best ever.  Last week I battled a terrible cold, tired legs from running, and a run down body.  I took Friday off to recover and rest up and came back Monday refreshed and ready to go.  I was greeted with a bunch of cards Monday morning in my mailbox.  I took them up to my classroom not knowing what they were.  I sat there Monday morning with tears streaming down my face.  Yes it was an assignment for a class but those special words from my students meant more to me then they will ever know.  Sometimes being a teacher is a thankless job and to be honest I do not do it for that.  I do it for my love of learning and passing that love on to high school students.  But these cards touched me more than I can ever say.  I sat there knowing that even though it’s tough God has me right where he wants me and I feel extremely privileged to be able to work with each and everyone of the students that I see.  So if you know a teacher…..just let them know that they are appreciated this week.  A small thanks can go so far.


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A long awaited post

Wow it has been way too long since I last posted.  To be honest I have been insanely busy at school and the weather has been really nice on the weekends so Dave and I have been taking advantage of it.  Here are some things that have gone on the last 2 weeks:

This little one turned 3:)  Jude is one of our favorite little boys and his parents, are amazing friends Andrew and Andrea are pretty great too.  Dave and Andrew have been friends since they were kids and the 4 of us spent a lot of time together in college and out of it.  We hate that we are so far from them but luckily we will be in Chicago this summer and can’t wait to see them and their new little one Jace.

This one also had a birthday.  No more listing ages as we get older:)  I hate that my best friends live so far away but how many people have a friend who would leave her grad class just to answer my call:)  I love it and am so proud of everything Hannah and her husband Matt are accomplishing in Baltimore.  I knew Hannah and I were destined to be friends forever when she roomed with me when we were 16 on a mission trip and not only did she tolerate and help with our mutual messiness but she stuck with me through my bathroom problems.  Let’s just say that the plumbing in Hungary was no match for the runner I was then:)  Your Nickle misses you Hannah:)

Isn’t this picture amazing?  These are my cousin’s kids…the newborn, who was born on Sunday, is Micah.  My cousin Jenna is the sister I never had.  We both have 2 brothers that are the same age and no sisters.  We were always friends but once we hit college we became closer than ever and she is truly one of my best friends and my sister:)  I am so proud of her and how much of an amazing mom she is!  Her husband Perry is pretty great too.  I talked to her on Sunday after she had the baby and I asked her how long she got to stay in the hospital.  She said 2 days but she wanted to go home early to see her family.  Amazing right?  What a great mom:)

Dave and I got to see Esperanza Spalding on Wednesday night and it was amazing.  She is an incredible singer who actually grew up in Portland.  I will say though a concert on the weeknight wrecked me.  Let’s just say I can’t do that anymore and Dave and I were in bed really early the next night:)  It was worth it and if you haven’t listened to her you need to.

I have started training pretty intensely for the Newport Marathon which is June 2nd.  If you follow me on Daily Mile you will notice that:)  It’s been going well aside from the track workout I skipped last week.  No way was that happening after my concert.  Today I ran an 18 miler, which was pretty hard.  I am getting a bad cold and I knew it was either today or tomorrow early morning so I stuck it out but I am definitely exhausted today.

I am hoping blog more this next week but I leave you with one more picture of my adorable niece Isla.  She is turning 2 this summer!


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Weekend Times

Once again we had a rainy week but a fantastic weekend with great weather:)  Dave and I started Friday night with a trip to Eastburn,  a restaurant/pub in the Southeast.  We had a google offer that was going to expire soon and decided to use it.  The meal was okay.  I had a veggie burger and salad and Dave had crepes.  Both meals tasted fine but it was hard to tell the overall theme of what the food was trying to be.  Our biggest complaint was the price.  For the price the portions were pretty small.  It was still really nice to try a new place but we probably won’t be back soon.  My favorite part was below.

Those were seats you could sit in…I thought they were hilarious:)

Dave and I woke up Saturday morning around 8 which is really sleeping in for us and went for a 7 mile run.  Dave has been running a lot lately because he is determined to beat me at a 5k in a couple of weeks.  We are both really competitive so it should be hilarious.  I’ll post more once I know what 5k we are going to do.  It was a hilly run but nice and cool out.  We came back and showered and went to a new to us place for brunch.  Dave and I try really hard to only eat out on the weekends and usually only once or twice and this place was definitely worth the wait.  We went to Arleta Library and Cafe which came as a recommendation to us.  The place was awesome and is in our neighborhood.  I had the Spring Vegetable Hash.

This was a vegetarian’s dream and came with broccoli ribe, potatoes, onions, rhubarb and some other vegetables.  It was incredible.  We went and did some errands which included me getting my bridesmaid’s dress for Dave’s sister’s wedding and then we came home to tackle our house.  We did a ton of weeding and trimming and then deep cleaned the house.  Overall a great weekend:)

I tried two new recipes tonight for dinner – Shaved Fennel Salad and Healthy Corn Bread.  Both were great but the Fennel Salad was my favorite.  Incredible.

(Source 101 Cookbooks)

If you have never gone to 101 Cookbooks you need to.  I have never made a bad thing from the author, Heidi and her emphasis on natural ingredients and simple recipes is awesome.

Have a great Monday!  Dave and I both have busy weeks with meetings and work, and I am starting to pick up my training for my next marathon so it’s off to bed early tonight.

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