links + loves vol. 6


Well, TGIF, my good people. This week was long and hard, both emotionally and physically. Emotionally because some friends are dealing with some hard things right now, and physically because I have been sick for a literal week. IT'S SO FUN. But I keep telling myself that it could be worse. I could be puking (knock on wood). I have an atrocious head cold (again, seriously I just did this last month!) and was running a fever for two days and have a constant headache and coughing and can't breathe out of my nose, and because I'm pregnant I can't take any of the good stuff. Not that I'm complaining about being pregnant; it's just that I need a dang decongestant already. Send Kleenex.

But anyway, like I said, I think puking would be worse, so I'm clinging to that bright side. I thought I'd share another round of links + loves for you today! May your weekend be less snotty than mine.

-Just a friendly (and non-sponsored) reminder about my favorite online deal site. I want one of everything, please. Just recently I had a shipping issue, and their customer service is amazing!

-Did you know that you can make a custom photo book from Shutterfly using their new design service? It's free to try and only $10 to use! Seriously worth it to finally get that book you've haven't had time to put together. See the book I made here.

-I know these hoodies are expensive, but man are they too cute or what? For a special occasion, maybe? Or a major splurge. Or just because the baby needs it. I won't judge.

-If you want to talk books, head on over to Torrie's blog. She's sharing some unpopular book opinions. I love these types of posts!

-Can we talk about how random this video is? I love it and I'm also amazed. This must have taken forever to put together!

-Newborn babies are cuddly and sweet, but to be quite honest, I actually did not enjoy the tiny stage very much and can definitely relate to this article.

-Consider supporting Mercy House through either their Fair Trade Friday program or by donating $21 per month to support a graduate of Rehema House. My sister-in-law's sister works for them, so I can tell you it's legit. Such a wonderful cause!

-So I saw this on Christina's blog and I just don't even know what to think. A burger meal delivery service?!? Anything really is possible.

*For previous link love posts, click here. For the baby edition, click here.

How I Learned to Love Running


I used to write a lot about running on this blog, but I've sort of stopped blogging so much about it. I haven't been doing as many (or any) races, for one thing, but also running is just kind of a part of my life now so I don't feel the need to talk about it very much because there's not really anything new to say.

Last weekend I went out for a run and pushed R in the stroller. I ran just over 3 miles at around 12-min/mile pace, and as I was walking the last block home, I started thinking about my running journey and how getting out for a run wasn't always something I voluntarily chose to do. Two of my coworkers are doing the Couch to 5k Program, and one of them said they could never imagine just going out for 3 easy miles like I do. 

But the truth is, it didn't start out that way. For a long time running was something I had to talk myself into. I went because I was training for a half marathon, and although I always liked the feeling of accomplishment once a run was over, I hated running while I was doing it and I never ever thought, I want to go running today.

So what changed? 

I don't know whether this is a weird thing to know or not, but I can tell you exactly when running became for me something I legitimately loved to do rather than just something I did. I ran in college some, but I don't consider my running journey officially started until April 2010, when I signed up for my first half marathon that coming October. I had to give myself a pep talk to get out the door every single time I went running, and I mostly felt like death during every single run. It was terrible.

It wasn't until 3 years later, in January 2013, when I started my first-ever marathon training schedule for the April 2013 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, that I fell in love with running. It became something I looked forward to, something I wanted to do, something I missed when I didn't do it for a couple of days. Somewhere along the way, I settled into those long training runs and really started to love the actual run itself and not just the "runner's high" I got when I was done. (I blogged my weekly marathon training here if you're interested!)

I ran the 2013 marathon, and I have been in love with running ever since. That's why I have to be honest: while pushing a 25-pound toddler in a jogging stroller for 3 miles at 21 weeks pregnant certainly sounds impressive to a lot of people, I don't necessarily feel like it's all that impressive. Of course I'm proud of myself for continuing to run in this stage, but running is something I enjoy doing, something I love, so I guess I don't consider it impressive. But it wasn't always like that, and it took 3 years of consistent running and a marathon training schedule to find my love for this hobby.

Now, I'm definitely not saying you have to run a marathon to fall in love with running. Running a marathon isn't for everyone. I'm just saying that that's where it happened for me. If you are just starting out and wondering how anyone can love running, I would tell you to just keep going. Maybe you haven't run enough miles yet to discover your hidden love for it!

I have an entire "Running" tab at the top of this blog if you want to read more posts about running, including links to all of my race recaps. One of my favorite things I've done on the blog is my "How to Start Running Series," I linked to Part 1, so check that out if you are new to running!

And even if you aren't a runner, you might enjoy: 10 Reasons Running a Marathon is Like Having a Baby

Do you run? Do you love it yes or no? If yes, do you remember when you really fell in love with running?