Training for a TRIATHLON.

The local leadership of my church is sponsoring a "sprint" triathlon at the end of July. What I mean by sprint triathlon is the distances for the different parts of the race are shorter than a regular triathlon. {...By all means it does not mean that I am going to be sprinting for the whole race...}. The race will consist of a 500 yard swim, 12 mile bike ride, and a 5K run.

I must say that the news of the triathlon came at a perfect time in my life. I have really been wanting to get into a good routine of exercising and this is going to be the best motivation. I know for the next 13 weeks I'm going to have to spend lots of time training for all three areas of the race. I will have to have strong internal discipline to reach the goals that I have set for myself. 

I want to make sure I make it to the starting line and the finish line of the race :)  

I guess there are two main reasons I am writing about the triathlon. First, to let everyone know about the race I will be participating in so I can have lots of people asking me about my training and reminding me that I should be exercising for at least 30 minutes each day. Seriously, I will love any and all emails, facebook wall posts, and texts {especially on those "bad" days...you know what I'm talking about}. The second reason is to MAYBE give people reading this the extra push to get into a good workout routine. I've been there, done that with the whole starting a workout routine and then stopping for some reason. You don't have to be training for a race, you just have to have a goal in mind and not loose sight of your goal. 

"Try a little harder to be a little better"
-Gordon B. Hinckley


We've got a thing for Spring!!!

We had a wonderful warm and sunny weekend here in Oregon. 
Paul and I were so excited that we could get outside and go on a bike ride. 
It's about time all the rain stopped pouring down on us here in the northwest.
We are loving the longer days and enjoying the fact that spring has most definitely sprung!!!

P.S. Happy Earth Day :) 


Getting from Point A to Point B.

Paul laughed at me last night when I asked him if I could write a blog about this. I have no idea why I am writing this blog post, but something inside of me really wants to record this eventful, exciting, and mostly FUN experience. And plus it was a new "first" for us...our first broken-down-on-the-side-of-the-road car adventure.

So here's what happened: It was late afternoon and I had just left Garmin with the intention of going to the bank and then going to the gas station and then arriving back at Garmin to pick Paul up from work. As I was driving to the bank, I noticed a small clicking noise when I pushed in the clutch. I had heard the noise before so I didn't think anything of it. About two minutes later, I hear this huge POP and I could no longer push in the clutch and that means I could not get the car in gear for it to drive. So what's a girl to do? I took the next side street and rolled to a stop. I called Paul in a panic not having the slightest idea of what to do because I don't know that much {basically nothing} about cars. He told me to leave the car, walk the mile back to our apartment, get the Suburban and then come and get him.

Once Paul was with me I felt so much better and I knew everything was going to be okay. We went back to the car so he could look at it and figure out what the problem was. He had a hunch that it was the clutch cable that broke and he was right. So right away my mr. fix-it husband was ready to go buy the right part and fix the car by the time the sun set. He called car part stores in town and every place he talked to said that they didn't have the part in stock and they would have to special order it. At this point we knew that we needed to get the car to our apartment because we didn't want to leave it on a random street overnight. {There is a lot of car theft that goes on in Salem.} This is where the story gets interesting :)

Paul didn't even think twice about getting a tow truck. He said, "Emily, I have an idea. I'll push you and the car home. All you have to do is steer." First we mapped out the route we were going to take. The car and our apartment were on opposite sides of a pretty busy road, so we knew we had to find an alternate way home. We wanted to stay on residential streets where we could go as slow as we wanted to. Once we knew where we were going, we started the long trek home. I'm happy to report that the car successfully made it to our apartment and Paul will be fixing it soon. On the way home we had the police stop to ask us what was going on, two very kind strangers help Paul push the car part of the way, and LOTS of comments from the people we passed.

Looking back, we are grateful that everything worked out and we are even more grateful that the car broke down where it did. It could've been a whole lot worse if I had been on the interstate or a place with lots of traffic. And now I have something {or lots of things} to say about Paul. HE PUSHED A CAR FOR 1.6 MILES!!! He is awesome!!! He lives his life with the motto "When there is a will, there is a way!" This is one of the many reasons I love him so much :)  


A new/old Easter tradition :)

Growing up, I remember my mom loved to put my sisters and I in matching outfits. I think with every holiday we would have matching dresses to wear to church and I think there was even a summer where we had matching bathing suits. Yeah, I so wish I had pictures to show :) This year I thought it would be fun for Paul and I to match on Easter Sunday.

I made the tie from a pattern I already had {McCall's 2447} and I made the skirt using a tutorial online {...although I changed it slightly...}. Both the tie and skirt were relatively easy to make. I did have to spend a little time re-learning some sewing techniques since I had not used my sewing machine since last year! It was really fun to sew again and now I feel like my sewing machine deserves some major lovin' so watch out...I might start making things like crazy.

I'm so grateful that Paul supports me with all my festive holiday ideas. It probably seemed silly to him for us to have matching outfits, but he knew it meant a lot to me so he just went with it. We had a wonderful Easter weekend visiting family and friends and also reflecting on the life of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.


Can opener needed.

I've been busy with life and making pumpkin chocolate chip bread {TWO times in ten days, that's right}. I had to share the recipe because this bread is so deliciously good and it is also very easy to make. The hardest part is having to wait over an hour to sink your teeth into a hunky slice of bread :) 

2 ½ cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree {not pie filling}
1 cup canola or vegetable oil {I used ½ cup oil and ½ cup applesauce instead}

4 large eggs
2/3 cup water
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans or three 8×4-inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, mix flours, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together canned pumpkin, oil, eggs and 2/3 cup water until well combined and stir into dry ingredients, just until the dry ingredients are moistened and no dry streaks remain. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter in prepared pans.

Bake the bread for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Run a knife gently around the edge of the bread and turn the bread out, right side up, onto a wire rack to cool completely and ENJOY!

So if you were wondering about the title of this blog post, these pictures should help explain it. The second time I made the bread, Paul had taken our can opener to work with him so he could open a can of chili for his lunch. I obviously needed the pumpkin from the can so I used other resources in the kitchen and made a hole big enough to get most of the pumpkin out of the can. All I can say is that it was quite an experience. Now I know to check to make sure I have all the ingredients I need AND to make sure I have all the kitchen "tools" I need before I start baking.