"All Things"

An adoptive mom who loves Christ, family, running, fitness, and all things health related.


A couple of weeks ago I wrote about an awful (and very humbling) 7 miler that I had.  There is a huge hill by our house that Beeker and I call “the widowmaker,” because it is such a beast.  During that 7 miler, the widowmaker definitely got the best of me. Even though it was not a good run, I learned that I need to make sure that I am properly fueling for my runs and am able to pace myself. I wrote about the run here. I finished the run in 1:06:18, but felt completely trashed.

Ever since then, I have avoided the widowmaker.  It got in my head. Nope, I did not want to do it again. Last week I ran *past* the hill, and avoided looking at it- as if somehow it “knew” that I was intimated by it- I felt like it was taunting me. So silly.

Well, today I had 7 miles on the books and was lucky enough to be able to run in beautiful 75 degree weather.  I laced up my shoes and thought- widowmaker- I’m coming for ya.  I was determined to take back that hill and make it mine.

And I did. 

7 miles done in 1:01:57.

Vindicated- and it feels good!


April 7 Fitness for the Week

oops! I forgot to publish this…

Sunday: 1 mile run + 2 mile walk with my sistas.

Monday: 1 mile run + yoga

Tuesday: 4 miles + abs and arms

Wednesday: 7 miles pace

Thursday: 4 miles + abs and arms

Friday: 1 mile

Saturday: Half marathon

This week looks very similar to last week, and my mileage really builds next week.  This is the first time that I have  incorporated yoga consistently in with my training, and I LOVE it.  I seriously cannot wait for Monday.  It is the perfect way to stretch out after my long run on the weekend and really helps me to free refreshed and focused. I finally get why people are obsessed with it- yoga is glorious.

What are your plans for the week?

Have you tried yoga?

Spring Weekends = <3

I love spring weekends in a big way.  It is like everyone emerges from their hibernation all winter and is excited to be out of the house, enjoying the fresh air.

After my run yesterday, we headed up to see our niece, Juliet, in her high school play- The South Pacific.  It was such a great show with SO much talent! I am always amazed by such young kids who are so gifted.  Juliet played the party of Bloody Mary’s Assistant.  Of course, she rocked it.  I love watching her on stage- she is so beautiful!


Gorgeous girl!

Today we went to church and then had 2 meetings.  The first meeting was for the mission trip that Brian and I are going on with the youth group to West Virginia in July.  I am super excited for the trip! The second meeting was to review the plans for our church’s new building- also very exciting!

After church, Kristianna came over with Holly, and Annmarie and I went with them on a nice long walk.  We stopped at the park and played with Holly a bit- she loved being outside and was, of course, super cute!


Seriously in love with this little face.

After our walk Kristianna and I ran my mile around my neighborhood.  It felt so good to be able to run with her, talk, and enjoy the fresh warm spring air! I love time with my sisters- they are the best.

As we begin a new week, I am praying that this is THE week that our phone rings!!

How did you enjoy the weather this weekend?


Long Run Report

I just got back from my long run: 15 miles finished in 2:20 & feeling good!

Today was nearly perfect running weather.  I say “nearly” perfect, because truly perfect would have been just a little less wind that I had to fight; however, other than that, it was perfection- cool & sunny!

I ran the first 4 miles by myself around my neighborhood.  After 4 miles, I swung back by my house where Beeker was waiting on the driveway on his bike.  He is so great- I didn’t even have to stop.  Like last week, he rode alongside me to coach me, talk to me, and hand me my water.  Beek and I decided that I really do have to practice drinking more water, even when I don’t feel like I need it.  Since my marathon is in June, it is really important that I get used to drinking on my runs to make sure that I am properly hydrated.  I hate carrying water, though, so  it is tricky to remember to drink it.  Unfortunately, my husband can’t ride his his bike next to me during he marathon. Durn it.

I went into this run really wanting to run a negative split (run the second half faster than the first).  I tend to go out super fast and then have to slow down because I can’t sustain the pace. Today, however, I accomplished my goal and was able to run a negative split!!

My miles looked like this:

Avg Pace
Summary 2:20:18.1 15.00 9:21
1 9:28.6 1.00 9:29
2 9:19.9 1.00 9:20
3 9:30.1 1.00 9:30
4 9:20.4 1.00 9:20
5 9:45.4 1.00 9:45
6 9:31.4 1.00 9:31
7 9:25.6 1.00 9:26
8 9:18.5 1.00 9:19
9 9:29.4 1.00 9:29
10 9:23.6 1.00 9:24
11 9:09.9 1.00 9:10
12 9:17.4 1.00 9:17
13 9:08.6 1.00 9:09
14 9:04.0 1.00 9:04
15 9:03.7 1.00 9:04
16 :01.6 0.00 15:29

Overall, I am really happy with this run.  I felt strong at the end, and it was an easy pace- I was able to carry on a conversation with Bri the whole time. Feeling good!

I think the success of the run was partly due to my awesome fueling last night!

I try to eat some type of pasta or carb- heavy meal the night before my long runs.  I was so happy when my mom told me that she made us baked ziti! Yum!

After dinner we headed out to the going away party for the youth pastor of our church- who also happens to be our really good friend.  He is following the Lord’s call to Canada- to be the youth pastor at a really awesome church! We are SO sad to see him go, but are excited to see what the Lord has planned for him.  It is inspiring to know someone who follows God’s will for his life, even when it means moving his entire family to another country.  I can’t wait to see how the Lord is going to them.  The best part of the evening was when the kids all crowded around him to pray for him and his family. So beautiful!


Love these people.

I also really loved the cookies 😉

Right now I have a date with my foam roller, then Beeker and I are going to see my niece in her school play! 🙂

Mindless eating

An old monster has reared its ugly head this week: the Mindless Eater.



She stays away all day- I eat my breakfast and lunch like a pro- 100% healthy, tracked, feeling good.  I drive home, eat my apple, feel content thinking about what I will make for dinner.  I commit to staying healthy through the evening and staying on track.  I pinky promise myself to not snack before dinner.  I feel good- I feel in control.

I pull into the driveway, open my front door….

And all bets are OFF.

Seriously.  It’s like I run to the pantry (still with my coat on) and eat whatever I see first.  This week the culprits were nuts, a bite of a leftover Easter dessert, or candy.

What gives? I eat without even thinking about it- not even stopping to take my coat off!

I know that these little treats are not that big of a deal, and with marathon training I will be a little more hungry.  However, I want to enjoy my food, to savor it.  I want to make something delicious and feel satisfied.  Stuffing my face with candy in front of my pantry does not satisfy me. In fact, it just makes me feel gross and less hungry for dinner.

So, I must devise a plan to QUIT the mindless eating.

Here is what I am thinking:

Come in the door- do NOT enter the kitchen.

Hang up my coat- go upstairs and change.

Force myself to do something else that I enjoy, like making myself a cup of hot tea….& then sitting down and really ENJOYING the cup of tea.

My goal is to redirect my focus to do something OTHER than eating when I get home.

Tonight was my first night trying to end my mindless eating.  I came home from work, put dinner in the oven, and headed right upstairs to change and take a little nap before dinner….it was really nice and I was actually genuinely hungry for dinner.



Can I keep it up? We shall see! Hopefully writing about it will help to keep me accountable. I really really really want to be more in tune with my hunger signals and to only eat when I am hungry, not when I am bored, happy, sad, emotional, nervous…everything!  Eating only when hungry? What a novel concept.  Talk about first world problems.

Jeez Louise.

Do you head to the pantry when you walk in the door?

What do you do to combat mindless eating?


April 1st Fitness for the Week

Sunday: 1 mile run

Monday: 1 mile run + yoga

Tuesday: 4 mile run + abs and push ups

Wednesday: 7 mile run @ marathon pace

Thursday: 4 mile run + abs and push ups

Friday: 1 mile run

Saturday: 15 miles!!


Happy 91st Birthday to the dearest woman I know, my mom-mom.  Here is the prayer I posted on FB:

April 1, 2013: Happy 91st Birthday to my beautiful mom-mom. Lord, thank you for the gift of my mom-mom and for our wonderful family. We are blessed with the absolute best, and it all began with the loving work of my sweet mom-mom. Thank you for the traditions that she started, for the love that seeped into everything that she did and said, and for the way that she always loved and trusted in you. Let us all live our lives like my mom-mom- always devoted to the Lord and to our family. Help me to raise my children in a way that would make her proud. Amen.

I love and miss my mom-mom so much!!

Happy Easter!


The Kester Family- Easter 2013- Hoping for a busier photo next year!!

Easter 2013 was blessed! We had a great time celebrating our risen Lord with our family 🙂

We began this morning with Easter baskets, because you are never too old for Easter baskets and candy, duh.


Our Easter Basket


Ree’s Basket

Yes, my mom still does Easter baskets for all of us and for the kids.  She set the kids baskets up on the coffee table


For the kiddies!

My mom is the best.

After opening our baskets, I ran my mile and then we got ready for church. I love church on Easter Sunday- especially the “Hallelujah Chorus”- my absolute favorite. I also love singing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” and “Crown Him with Many Crowns.” The joy of Easter morning is so encouraging and so beautiful!

After church, we had everyone (except for Kristianna, Alex, and Holly- who are in NC and were dearly missed) here at our house for Easter dinner. My mom made SO much food: ham AND turkey, green beans, corn, salad, stuffing, coleslaw, potato salad, rolls, salad, applesauce, cornbread, baked beans, and peach cake, carrot cake, and cupcakes for dessert.  Yup- she made all that.  She is the bomb.com.

I loved having everyone here- especially the kids, who loved their baskets and Easter egg hunt!



Love these kiddies.

As I sit here and think about how blessed our day was today, I can’t help but imagine how different next year {hopefully} will be.  I can’t wait to have excited babies to make Easter baskets for, to buy pretty dresses, white socks, and Easter bonnets- and maybe even an Easter suit for my boy.  I pray that the Lord blesses us with two children and that His plan is revealed to us this week.  Praying for our Easter miracle!  Like I say every Sunday- maybe this will be our week!

Trusting and believing in the power of our risen Lord.

Happy Easter!

How did you celebrate Easter?

Fueling for 14 miles and Family Fitness Day


Today was a GREAT day!  A few weeks ago, my cutie cousin, Sarah, and I were talking about how much we wanted to plan a day to run together.  So, we checked our calendars and decided that today would be a good day. After setting our date, we thought that it would be fun to invite our entire family to the park with us.  So, I excitedly made a Facebook event called, “Family Fitness Day” and invited everyone to join the fun!  I know, I am the dork of life.

Well, Family Fitness Day turned out the be a fairytale! A bunch of our family met, along with some friends, at the beautiful Tyler State Park.  Everyone chose their exercise of choice: walking, running, or biking.


This photo was taken by my friend, Tanya. Tyler State park is SO beautiful!

I had 14 miles on tap- I absolutely loved running the first few with Sarah, and then finished up the rest of my run with Beeker riding alongside me on his bike.  Isn’t that true love? A husband that is willing to ride his bike alongside his wife for 14 miles- to coach her, hand her water, and be there to talk to her when she gets bored.  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times- The Beek: I am blessed with the best.

Turns out Tyler State Park is pretty hilly.  Actually, when I say hilly- I mean SUPER hilly.  My quads got quite the workout 😉  I decided to run at an easy pace and just enjoy the day with my family, the scenery, and having my Beeker next to me.  I also wanted really focus on this run to make sure that I fueled properly before, during, and after.

Fueling for a marathon fascinates me; it is such a fine science of knowing exactly how much I need.  I wanted to make sure that I fueled properly, especially after a very humbling 7 miler that I had earlier in the week.  During run, I crashed and burned BIG time.  I got caught about 3 miles from home seriously wanting to quit because I had absolutely no energy. What I learned is that if I am going to run a 7 mile pace run, my breakfasts need to look a little less like this:


3 egg whites, peppers, and tomatoes- nice if I am going to relax; not enough fuel for 7 fast miles.


…..And a little more like this:


Pumpkin protein oatmeal with apples and berries



Lesson learned.

I fueled for my run this morning with my pumpkin oatmeal- and topped it with some natural peanut butter for staying power.  During my run, I took Gatorade gels at miles 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13.  I felt great!!

We celebrated my 14 miles and the fun of Family Fitness Day with lunch at a diner, where I refueled with a turkey wrap, salad bar, AND french fries.  

Will run for french fries- duh.

It is nice to feel properly fueled, which is something that I need to remember for the rest of my marathon training.  So, getouttahere egg white and veggies and cometomama protein oatmeal.  No more mid-run bonk, thankyouverymuch.

Family Fitness Day- you are welcome any time 😉

What is your favorite food after a hard workout?

Ever hit the wall during a run?


Amazing Love

One of my favorite songs goes like this:

Amazing love, how can it be- that you my King should die for me?

Amazing love, I know it’s true- that it’s my joy to honor you.

In all I do- I honor you.

As I reflect on Holy Week- I praise God for loving me enough that He would allow His only son to die for me.  Wow- His only son.  I always knew this was a profound sacrifice; however, it has taken a whole new level now that I feel the love that I have for my children in my heart.  To think that God would give His only son for ME. It truly is amazing love-& it is my absolute joy to honor Him.

As I wait for our babies, my biggest prayer for their lives is that they will personally know Christ’s amazing love.

I pray that Brian and I can raise our children to love, obey, and trust God.

I pray that the Lord will take hold of each of my children’s lives and ROCK  IT.

I pray that we can be courageous enough to be in this world, but not be of it- and wise enough to know the difference.

I pray that we can raise our kids to be brave, to be faithful, and to love the Lord our God with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Yes, this is my prayer as a mother- that the Lord will be revealed to each of my children and that our family will live for God.

Sound like a tall order?

It is.

Good thing God is amazing.

breaking spring & a day of eats!

Spring break? It snowed here all day yesterday! This weather is crazy…

Even if this weather is nutty, I still love having off, duh.

It is so nice to wake up without an alarm, and enjoy a leisurely breakfast, and be able to make a great lunch and dinner.

Today, I thought it would be fun to post a day of eats…

The past two mornings, I’ve made a mexican egg white scramble, which is so good!


In the mix- peppers, tomatoes, and salsa. Please notice my awesome mug- perfect for this week 😉

During the week it is always rush, rush, rush.  I have loved having the time to actually savor my breakfast, instead of trying to eat it as I frantically do my hair and make up to make it out the door on time.

For lunch, I enjoyed a bowl of homemade turkey chili and a big salad.


I’m noticing a mexican theme on this blog….


bread & butter pickles = ❤

I was feeling smug with my delicious lunch, until Beeker sat down next to me with his- a grilled turkey & cheese sandwich made on the waffle iron.  Genius.


#59392 reason why I love the Beek- his culinary creativeness.

In the afternoon, I ran and then did yoga with my sister, Annmarie.  I am really loving yoga on Mondays- it makes me feel strong and is a great way to stretch out after my long runs on the weekends- especially for my hip flexors.  I hope to keep this up throughout my marathon training, which will *hopefully* help to prevent injury.

During our workout, I was trying to think of a really great snack that I could make for the afternoon.  As I downward dogged it and breathed through my poses, I thought of the perfect thing: pumpkin pie greek yogurt.

So, when we were finished, I eagerly went into the kitchen to make this:


pumpkin pie greek yogurt

To make this, I combined some pumpkin (about 1/2 cup) with one cup of plain greek yogurt, cinnamon, and a dash of sweetener.  I topped it with a spoonful of cool-whip.  The cool whip turned out to be the best part, ha!  This recipe still needs a little bit more tweaking- it is hard to balance the tart taste of the greek yogurt with the expected sweetness of pumpkin pie.  Maybe I could try vanilla greek yogurt?

For dinner, I roasted a turkey loin in the crock pot and Beek made homemade garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.


Perfect dinner

There you have it- a day of eats, courtesy of Spring Break!

I am off to run- 7 miles is on tap.  I am going to wear capris and pretend like it’s spring-like weather!


What is your favorite afternoon snack?

Has the spring weather arrived yet where you live?

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