Time To Tri Again

Tomorrow is the day. Training begins for the 2014 triathlon season!

I’ve been waiting for this day for months. After struggling for a year with inconsistent hip and IT band issues, a five-month hiatus from training to build our new house, and eight weeks of PT and injections, it’s time to swim, bike and run.

It’s been two years since my last (and only) triathlon. It was a mini, but as my supporters constantly reminded me, it’s still a triathlon. I am a triathlete. Period. Something I will repeat over and over in my head in the coming months when I don’t feel like training, am uncomfortable or want something really unhealthy to eat. I am a triathlete.

My goal this year is to train smart, avoid injury and compete in at least one event. If training goes well these first eight weeks or so, I’ll register for two events. The one event for certain will be the City of Ballwin event and my goal will be to beat my time from two years ago.

Ok. I’ve announced it, so it’s real! Thanks for listening. I invite you to follow along, and encourage you to challenge yourself with a new or renewed goal this Spring.



A Double Oven Moment

It may sound crazy to some of you, but I have been waiting seven plus years for this moment — baking home made desserts in a double oven! You see, I grew up in a home with double ovens, and when they were both “fired up,” it DSCN0108meant we were going to be getting together with family and friends. Plus, my mom was a baker. We enjoyed dessert at every meal. And at Christmas time, we’re talkin’ a cookie marathon in the range of 25 different types of cookies totaling 4,500+! (You gotta have a double oven to accomplish this feat!) It became a tradition our family and friends looked forward to every holiday season. Everyone anticipated receiving their tray of JoAnn’s cookies!

Between then and now, I have had double ovens, but not in our last house. So, you can imagine that from day one of planning our new home, a double oven was a mandatory on my wish list. And here’s why: it’s not just about being able to bake one batch of cookies in half the time, or juggling multiple dishes along with a turkey on major holidays. For me, it means family or friends are going to be gathered around a table enjoying good food and conversation, hopefully creating some great memories. Just like those I still carry with me today from when I was a kid.

DSCN0152In case you’re wondering why the baking today: tomorrow the kids are coming over for our “January Birthdays” celebration. A new monthly tradition Tim and I hope to create in our new home. In the upper oven is a Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake (a family favorite), and in the lower oven, Paula Dean’s Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake (special request from one of our January birthday celebrants, our son-in-law Paul).

Happy baking!


2013 Blessings and 2014 Possibilities

This morning I’m sitting at a neighbor’s house as movers load up a basement full of our items that have been here since August. You see, my husband Tim and I have spent the last four months building our new home, and I think this is the first time in those four months I’ve had an hour or two to really sit by myself and reflect on all the blessings of 2013. We have tirelessly (and very willingly) spent every waking moment going to work and then straight to the house for the remainder of the night. And on weekends living at the job site, or making decisions on every square foot of the house. We have put a tremendous amount of sweat equity into our new home. We are so blessed that things have gone so smoothly!

In April we started looking for 3-5 acres. In June we put our house on the market. July 1 we closed on our dream lot. Later that month we sold our home. We moved into an apartment on August 9, and broke ground on September 3. We passed final inspection and received our occupancy permit on December 30. This is something Tim and I have talked about since we got married six years ago, so for those of you who are skeptical about dreams coming true, I’m hear to tell you that if you have a vision, are disciplined and pray a lot, you can achieve your dreams and goals. I’ve got countless little stories about our last six months that will prove this, especially the impact that our faith has had on this dream coming true.

They say if you can survive building a house with your spouse, you can survive anything together. This “process” of building a home together has brought us closer than we were prior to this, and we thought we were really close! Here’s a tip: Great communication, compromise and a sense of humor are key!

More details on the house in upcoming posts as I plan to share some organizing tips as I set up the house.

Now for a few thoughts on 2014. I have had random time while doing lots of laborer work at the house to think about my life in this new setting. After all, it will be a new way of living. And, it’s a new year, so lots of opportunities for new possibilities! What I’ve concluded is, 2014 will be a year of health and home! I’ve spent the last few years rushing through life trying to accomplish so many things and be so many things to so many people that’s its time to slow down the pace, focus on just a couple of things and try to just BE in every moment of every day-not easy to do in today’s fast-paced world!

Why Health and Home?

Health: spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health is so important! Tim and I have strayed from our healthy eating and regular workouts these past four months, understandably so. (Hence, the extra pounds and sore backs.) We have not strayed, however, from church. (Hence, the many small miracles along the way). We have both vowed to get back to “JustDo(ing)It!” in 2014 and competing again in those runs and triathlons we’ve done in the past.

Home: is where the heart is! I envision many wonderful memories being created with family and friends at our new home, especially gathered around the island in the kitchen. Faith, family and friends are so dear and deserve more time than I’ve given them in the past. And, of course, so many interior and exterior projects ahead of us! I love working around the house and yard, and what a beautiful setting we now have in which to work!

Oh, the possibilities!

So, I dedicate my blog posts in the coming year to health and home-related content and hope you will visit often and share your stories as well.

Happy New Year!




Monday Motivation: Simple Acts

Start off your week by doing a few small simple acts of kindness today. Quick, simple, easy. Noticed or unnoticed. These don’t have to take much time at all. Here are some ideas to get you started.


* Tell someone they look nice today
* Let someone in your lane during rushhour
* SMILE at everyone you see
* Call someone you’ve been thinking about and say hello
* Say a prayer for someone in need