My Workout Routine(ish)


I'm linking up with Alicia and Rachel as part of their "Love Your Body" series. 

As you may know, one of the items on my bucket list is to be able to do a pull-up. I may love my legs, but these scrawny arms are pretty much useless for anything more strenuous than opening a can of Sprite.

I've been saying I want to do a pull-up for years, but as of yet I've failed to actually attempt to do anything about it. I don't care to be super buff or one of those women who enter fitness competitions. All I want to be able to do is a single pull-up. (Or, more specifically three pull-ups, as my bucket list states.)

If you were reading my blog last year, you know it was a huge year of running for me. Almost 900 miles and three half marathons + two full marathons huge. Total craziness. As 2014 began, I decided I needed some serious time off, and January and February were comparatively light running months with less than 50 total miles combined.

But then March hit, and I felt the urge to get back into a fitness routine. This time, I'm running but also trying to add in some more weights for muscle and toning, something I've never been serious about before. I want that pull-up this year. Having toned arms is a nice perk, but I also want to love my arms for their strength. I also plan on crossing a second item off my bucket list when I run a Tough Mudder with my brother in Dallas in October. I know I'll need strong arms to maneuver through a 10-mile obstacle course.

I'm calling this my routine(ish) because I honestly don't have a set schedule for my workouts. Right now I'm enjoying a more relaxed routine where I do what I feel like and kind of decide as I go. However, just to give you an idea, a typical week of running usually includes a run every other day with maybe two days back to back. 

Here's an example:

But then, sometimes I don't get a run in, and a week might go like this:
Womp. Womp. It happens.

So where do the arms come in? 
Well, let me tell you.

Starting at the beginning of March, I have been including 15-25 minutes of arms before or after every run. I use free weights at the gym sometimes, but what I really like doing is following along with one--usually two--of the following workouts on YouTube in the comfort of my apartment with hand weights I bought at WalMart for cheap. (They're like $3-5 each depending on what weight you buy.)

I'm hoping to work up to more weight so I can tone up my arms and add some muscle and finally be able to do a pull-up! These are, in my opinion, excellent workouts that really make my arms burn, and I can tell I'm getting stronger. The Sarah Fit Show (the first two videos below) has some awesome workouts for legs, arms, and more. I have been doing leg workouts as well, but the arms are really what I want to improve on.

(Also--shameless plug--I have a bunch more workouts pinned to my Favorite Fitness Workouts Pinterest board and my Fitness Pinterest board.)

Feel free to let me know if you've found any good workouts that will help me get my pull-up. I'm also doing pushups, and the videos below include some shoulder work as well. I know pull-ups aren't all arms.

Wish me luck! I'll keep you posted.
*If the videos aren't showing up on your ipad/phone, here are the links: 123

Click on the picture below to see how other ladies are loving their bodies this year!

*I am not a personal trainer or physician. This post is not intended to offer medical advice. Contact your doctor before beginning a fitness routine or if you experience pain while exercising.

Smash it with a Bible


circa 2007
I may have been responsible for this.

A few weeks ago, my girl Kate wrote this post about how blogging is weird, because we put so much stuff out there for random strangers to read, so we all feel like we know each other, but really we don't know each other at all.

For real, you guys. I could be a dude.

Think about it.
But really don't think about it.

Anyway, today I'm going to share ten lesser-known facts about The Lady Okie just so maybe you can feel like you know me a little better.

1) I am not a dude.
Very important to start with that one, I think. Just to clear the air.
(Reading this back, I'm not sure why I felt like the fact that I am not a dude is a "lesser-known fact." It's actually very well known.)

2) I am left handed.
Although I bat and throw and bowl right handed, so basically I'm just one of those weird people who uses both hands for things. Sometimes I confuse myself and forget which hand I'm supposed to use for stuff. Very strange. I don't know.

3) I've worn glasses since the fourth grade. My prescription is NEGATIVE 5.5, which means I'm pretty much blind. Without my glasses, everyone and everything are just a bunch of blurry shapes. No, I have not seriously considered LASIK, although I hear I should.

4) I have a cyst on my right wrist that sometimes is quite large and makes my wrist ache, and sometimes I wake up and it's completely gone. And then it comes back. Freaky. My dad had one too on the same wrist! But his went away, and he claims he "pushed it back in." Yeah, okay. To get rid of mine, he suggested I get drunk and let him smash it with a Bible. I said thanks but no thanks.

5) Most of my Oklahoma friends call me Reese. It's a long story, but Reese is my maiden name, so it's not that weird. And actually, I like it a lot.

6) My favorite thing to eat is a BLT. With mayo, of course. And on toasted bread. If the bread's not toasted and there's no mayo, it's really just not even worth eating.

7) I do not like hugs. I will hug Jordan, obviously. And my family. But in general I avoid hugs at all costs. I feel like they're awkward, and I would rather just wave or knock elbows or something. Because clearly knocking elbows is less awkward than a hug.

8) I have six ear piercings. Three in my right earlobe, two in my left earlobe, and one in my left ear cartilage. The top right piercing happened on a missions trip in high school. Someone pierced it using a safety pin and a potato.

9) I am a loud talker. Like, really loud. As in, people regularly have to "shush" me. Also, I am incapable of whispering. I think I have a medical condition. The good news is that I will never be able to talk about you behind your back while you're in the room. Because you will be sure to hear me.

10) I am 5' 7 3/4". I feel very strongly about including the three-quarter inches. I usually round up to 5'8" when asked how tall I am. Jordan is 5' 7 1/2". This was a concern for me initially. One of the stipulations for my future mate was someone who was taller than me, but I figured maybe a quarter of an inch wasn't dropping the bar too low. Literally. (See what I did there?)
* * *

So there you have it! Did you learn anything new about me? 
Hopefully now you feel like you know me better. I would like to take our online relationship to the next level. I think we're ready. Unless there's something else you've always been dying to know about me, in which case ask away!

Here are some questions you can answer if you choose so I can get to know you!

Are you right or left handed?
How tall are you?
How do you feel about hugs?

And last but very much definitely not least.... Are you a secretly a dude?

A Miracle in Every Sunrise


Sometimes I feel guilty that I don't talk about my faith enough on this blog. 

Earlier this month I participated in an advice column over on Samantha's blog. We were asked to share our mission statement for our blog. Many of the other ladies shared about how they want to speak truth and encourage other women in their faith. Some shared a Bible verse. I'm a little ashamed to say that neither of those things came to mind when writing out my mission statement.

I do write about my faith sometimes, but I don't write about it a lot. It's definitely not the main focus of my blog posts. I mostly write about things I want to remember: hilarious family trips to pick up a Christmas tree and the crazy things I do when I'm sleeping and how we spent our second anniversary. I post serious things sometimes, but more often I post funny things when I think of a topic that I hope will be funny, because I like making people laugh.

I wouldn't say I'm a "faith" blogger, and I feel bad about it sometimes, because I would never want someone to come here and not know I'm a Christian. At the same time, I don't feel the need to mention it in every post. I know saying you're a Christian comes with a certain degree of stigma. Who voluntarily gets up early on a Sunday morning to sit in church for two hours? Who really believes all that stuff about Jesus dying and then coming back to life? Who is self-important enough to say that theirs is the only way to heaven? A bunch of crazy, Bible-thumping hypocrites, those Christians are. I know what you think.

I've been thinking about this off and on for a couple of months now. I definitely don't post many specifically religious posts, nor do I necessarily want to. But it's always there. It's like eating breakfast or putting my contacts in. I don't blog about those things, but they're a part of my daily routine, and I couldn't function properly without them.

My faith is like that too.

It's the lens through which I see the world. 
The light to which I turn when everything goes dark.
The hand that guides when my path becomes unsteady.

I know that all sounds so cheesy. And you're right: it is.

But it's also the only thing that holds me together. The most important part of my life. We like to think we're in charge of our world, but here's the thing: he is the one who gives us breath. I wake up and see a miracle in every sunrise. Do I blog about it? Not often. But it's there. Always.

I just wanted you to know in case I hadn't said it before.

“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, 
the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” 
― C.S. Lewis

That's How It's Done.


My Project 12 posts have become my favorite to write. I love recapping my month and writing down the things I didn't blog about. (Spoiler alert: Despite what some of my friends think, I don't actually dedicate a blog post to everything that happens to me.) I'm excited to have these posts at the end of the year to remember everything I did during 2014.

[Check out: January | February]

One thing I decided to do as part of the project was take a picture with Jordan on the first day of every month. At the end of the year I will have twelve pictures of us from 2014, each taken one month apart, and I'll probably use the pictures to make a book on Shutterfly or something.

Someone commented on my February post and asked how I get Jordan to take pictures with me and smile so nicely. She said there's no way she could get her husband to do something like that.

To that I say, HA. Smile nicely for a picture?

Yes. Let's talk about that, shall we?

What you might see on this blog once a month is a cute picture of us smiling happily. 
Here's what you don't see:

This is the actual conversation that occurred on February 28

Me: So you know what tomorrow is right?

Jordan: Um... no.
Me: It's the first day of March!
Jordan: Okay?
Me: And guess what happens on the first day of the month.
Jordan: *blank stare*
Me: We take our first-day-of-the-month picture!
Jordan: *eye roll and large groan* Then: Do we have to do that?
Me: Yes we have to do it! I'm warning you now so you can prepare yourself.
Jordan: Fine.

*the next morning*

Me: Okay, I'm getting my camera ready. We're taking this picture in fifteen minutes.

Jordan: *dramatic sigh*
Me: I warned you this was coming last night. I'm setting up the tripod.
Jordan: But I just got out of bed. My hair is sticking straight out.
Me: Mine is too. Who cares about that?
Jordan: I do.
Me: Too bad.

So I get the camera and the tripod, and I set it up perfectly so everything is ready to go. Then I tell him it's ready and that all he has to do is sit down next to me and smile. Immediately after the "click," he's back at his computer, and I start packing up my tripod. 

"See you in a month," I tell him as I leave the room, and he shakes his head.

And that, my friends, is how it's done.

* * * 

Related: What is it with boys and pictures? Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3

Runners Tell All Linkup: My Favorite Running Gear


"Runner's Tell All" is a monthly linkup for runners of all ages, skill levels, and experience hosted by Sunshine to the Square Inch and The Lady Okie. Each month we'll have a different topic, and you can find all the topics listed here. We are accepting two sponsorship spots for each month, who will receive a sidebar ad on both blogs as well as entry links in the giveaway. 100% of your sponsorship money will go directly toward running-related giveaways. Find more information on sponsorship here.

When it comes to running gear, I feel like I've already covered this topic in depth. Feel free to check out the following links for all of my favorite gear!

One thing I did want to show you guys that I haven't talked about yet on my blog is one of my favorite running-related things that I got for Christmas last year. My friend Justine made this medal holder for me! I love how I have a place to hang my medals and my bibs.

I guess you could consider this gear for my gear.

Pretty cool, no?
What do you do with your medals and bibs?
Next month's topic
(Monday, April 21)
Share a Bad Race or Training Experience
and What You Learned From It

March Giveaway

Have you heard of Lululemon?

Well, they apparently have the best workout clothes ever. I say apparently, because I don't actually own anything from there because it's dang expensive. But $30 is a good chunk of change, and one winner will get it! Gift card will be sent via email. Giveaway is open internationally. (They ship almost anywhere in the world. I checked.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Runners Tell All Linkup Rules
  1. You MUST leave a comment on the person’s blog who linked up directly before you. This is not a linkup for the sake of linking up. This is a linkup to build community and spread the love and encouragement to your fellow runners! Don't be lame.
  2. Only link up posts related to our running prompt. Do not share links to unrelated running posts or to your blog’s homepage, or we will have to delete your link. (I've done it before too, so I'm not joking.)
  3. Please link back to either Beka or Amanda in your post so others can come here and join in! Or grab the button below and add it to your post.
PSA: I will be in Texas this weekend hosting a bridal shower for my future sister-in-law, so I will most likely not be able to visit your blogs until next week. Don't think I've forgotten about you! I'll be sure to stop by. Thanks for linking up!

Keep It Local OKC: Kaiser's Buffalo Burgers & Ice Cream Shop


I did not expect so much feedback on my first "Keep It Local" post! Seriously, I thought I'd maybe get five comments. But you guys seemed to like seeing some local OKC flavor, so here we are again.

Kaiser's isn't technically part of the Keep It Local site. But it should be. It's is a great, local burger place and soda shop. The burgers are good, but the ice cream is goooood. Seriously, it's probably not the best for my rapidly slowing metabolism that Kaiser's is only a few blocks from my office.

Jordan and I came here a few weeks ago with friends for lunch after we hit up a library book sale at the OKC fairgrounds. I've gone back by myself a few times for lunch or a shake (always chocolate!), but the last time the two of us were at Kaiser's together was to take engagement pictures back in March of 2011. We illegally climbed to the top of the plaza court rooftop and took pics in front of the midtown sign. Don't tell.

Kaiser's has been at this location in downtown OKC since 1918! I love the old-fashioned bar and the delicious sodas. Definitely a good place to stop for a burger or even just a shake or ice cream sundae. Their specialty is the bison burger. Yum. If I had to choose, I think S&B's burgers are slightly better, but like I said, Kaiser's ice cream can't be beat.

Check out my other Keep It Local posts:

Does your town have an old-fashioned soda shop?
What's your ice cream shake flavor of choice?

* * *
p.s. The second Runners Tell All linkup is THIS Friday!
Get all the details here.

10 Things I Like About Myself


Sometimes I wonder why I have any friends. 

I promise I'm not trying to be dramatic or fish for compliments, but for real. There are multiple reasons why I can be a huge pain in the you-know-what, and sometimes I'm just like, Self, you're obnoxious.

We all have our "things." Our unique quirks, annoying habits, and little flaws that make us who we are. But we all have good things too and there are moments when I say to myself, Self, you're great. That's what I'll be talking about today, because I think you guys need a reminder of how awesome I am.

That was a joke. I think.
Anyway, moving on.


1. I'm funny.

And it's not just that I think I'm funny (which I do), but other people think I'm funny. It's fun being funny.

2. I'm reliable.

If you ask me to do something or show up somewhere, you can count on me to do it. I don't cancel plans at the last minute. I don't forget to pick someone up at the airport. I always try as best I can to do what I say I'm going to do. It's important to me.

3. I'm low maintenance.

I rarely wear makeup, and I don't spend a lot of time on my hair. I dress casual for the most part. It's not that makeup and hair and fancy clothes are bad things, and it's not that I don't care about how I look, but I like the fact that I can be showered and heading out the door in fifteen minutes if I had to. It's a lot less stressful for everyone.

4. I'm a good writer.

As you already saw, I'm not good with painting or drawing. But I do love words. Not everyone can write well, and while I believe you can learn to write better, I don't know if you can learn to write. I also love that I can write funny. Writing funny is hard, and one of my favorite things is when people tell me they laughed while reading a blog post. 

Is it lame to go back through your old tweets just to laugh and admire your own cleverness?

I'm asking for a friend.

5. I have nice legs.

This is totally vain, but I really love my legs. Thank you, running! I've always been a calf girl. I swoon over a shapely pair of calves.

6. I'm a good cook. 

I'm not going to be a top chef any time soon, but I enjoy cooking, and I like that I can whip up a tasty dish or dessert.

7. I don't procrastinate.

When I decide to do something, I do it immediately. Now, of course this isn't always the case. I procrastinate cleaning the bathroom, for example, but for the most part, I like to get things done. This trait of mine can lead to stress when I am unable to do something at the exact moment I want to do it, but at the end of the day, my motivation to get things done is something I like about myself.

8. I'm good at buying gifts.

I pride myself on buying my friends and family meaningful, thoughtful gifts. Gifts are 100% my love language, and when birthdays and Christmas are concerned, the budget pretty much goes out the window. It's an emotional high when I know I've found just the right thing for someone.

9. I'm easy to talk to.

I'll pretty much talk to anyone. I'm good at making conversation, and I'm good at including other people in the conversations. High five for extroversion!

10. I'm adventurous.

I'll try anything at least once (unless it involves a snake). When it comes to food or experiences, I think you don't know unless you try. One of the most adventurous things I've ever done was go sky diving a few years ago. I've tried singing karaoke (I'm terrible), and the other day at the grocery store I grabbed a rutabaga to cook even though I had no idea what it was or how to cook it.

For the record, it's a root vegetable akin to a turnip. Taste and texture, I could compare it to a potato. Not difficult to cook at all. Go me!

* * *
Now wasn't that fun? I hope my real-life friends would agree about these ten I've chosen. I ran them by Jordan, and he gave me the green light, so I think I'm good.

What's something you like about yourself?

[Book Review] The Paris Wife by Paula McLain


Back in January, I read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. (You can read my review here.) Z is an historical fiction novel told from the point of view of Zelda, the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald (who wrote novels, among them the well-known The Great Gatsby). After I finished, I was told by a few friends that I also needed to read Paula McLain's The Paris Wife, which is an historical fiction told from the point of view of Hadley, the first wife of Ernest Hemingway (who wrote classics such as The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms).

Of the two books--and Paris Wife--I liked the former slightly better, although I gave both 4 stars on Goodreads. Both were quick, interesting reads that I would recommend to fans of historical fiction. I think maybe the preference of book just depends on which one you read first. (In case you were wondering, Paris Wife was published first in 2011. was published in 2013.)

I would also say that Z was more interesting just because Zelda was a more interesting narrator. Hadley seemed quieter and kept to herself a lot more, so it didn't feel like there was as much drama.

Nevertheless, in both cases, I loved getting such a personalized, behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life of one of the most famous authors of his time. Although this is fiction, like Therese Anne Fowler did for her book, Paula McLain clearly did a ton of research before writing Paris Wife; and since I knew basically nothing about Hadley (Hemingway) Richardson before reading this, I learned a lot.

It was especially interesting to read this book after reading Z. 

Ernest Hemingway makes more of a consistent appearance in Zelda's narration than F. Scott does in Hadley's, which seemed a bit contradictory at first, but I guess the difference is probably because Zelda had more of a "relationship" with Ernest than Hadley did with F. Scott.

We know from history that Zelda Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway did not like each other, but Ernest comes off as much more of a drunken womanizer in Z than he did in Paris Wife. In fact, for most of the latter, I liked Ernest Hemingway quite a bit, which is not what I was expecting. Again, this is probably due to the narrator bias. I came off of reading Z thinking Ernest Hemingway was a terrible person, and throughout The Paris Wife and even now while reading A Moveable Feast, I'm finding myself thinking, "I kind of like Ernest Hemingway."

One of the Reader Questions at the end of Paris Wife mentions that even after their marriage had ended and up until the end of her life, Hadley continued to call Ernest "a prince." Ernest clearly was a cheating womanizer and a drunk, but she continues to love and support him to the best of her ability, which is at once admirable and annoying. Sometimes I just wanted to shake her and say, "Stand up for yourself, woman!"

On Monday, I went right to the downtown library on my lunch break to check out Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. This is the last thing Ernest Hemingway wrote before his suicide in 1961 and is a memoir about the years 1921-1926, which is when he was married to Hadley and also the years focused on in The Paris Wife. I'm almost finished, and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. This is such a fun time period!

Here's my favorite quote so far from A Moveable Feast: 

"I thought of [Gertrude] Stein and egotism and mental laziness versus discipline, and I thought who is calling who a lost generation? I thought that all generations were lost by something and always had been and always would be."

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Anne Fowler
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Have you read either Z or The Paris Wife? Which did you like better?
Have you read A Moveable Feast?

I'm Better with Words


Today I'm linking up with Samantha over at Elah Tree for an installment of her "artist guild" series! Each month has a different creative prompt, and this month's was "paint a canvas." You can read more about the linkup and prompts over here.

 Let's be honest.

I do words. I don't do paint.

I think the last time I painted was in elementary school, and so this project was mostly fun, but it was also a little bit stressful.

Last weekend, I went to Hobby Lobby and got some supplies, and then I spent my entire Tuesday evening staring at a blank 8x10 canvas wondering what the heck I was supposed to do. I also wasted half my red and blue acrylic paint tubes trying to make purple, and every time I kept just getting gray, which I painted over with black because I couldn't handle looking at the color of failure. Mad props to people who mix paint. It's not as easy as it sounds or looks. Or maybe it is, and I'm just confused.

I'm not really one of those people who's good at "just going for it" when it comes to creativity. I edit every sentence as I write, I like sticking firmly to recipes, and it took me an entire year to finish my wedding scrapbook.

So the whole "just put paint on a canvas, it doesn't have to be a masterpiece" thing is pretty much my worst nightmare behind getting lost in space or finding a snake in my toilet (I read a news story once about a guy who found a ten-foot snake in his toilet pipe, and now I always think about that when I'm going to the bathroom). 

To top it off, I'm delusional. For some reason I thought maybe I was a painting prodigy whose artistic genius had yet to be recognized.

Clearly, I'll have to find another way to make my millions.

In any case, I have now officially finished my very first canvas! Like I said, it was fun, once I got over my crushing realization that I'm not going to be the next Picasso. Thanks again to Samantha for the inspiration! It's good to get out of your creative comfort zone every once in a while.

Now the question of what to do with these. I mean, they're not exactly something I can hang on my bedroom wall and pretend they're the work of my six-year-old who brings home art projects from the first grade.

No, don't worry about it. I made these. I'm an adult who paints with cookie cutters and can't make the color purple.

At least I'm good with words. Right?
Do you do paint? If not, what's your creative "thing"?

The process of blogging as shown through GIFs I found on Google


It all starts with an idea.

2.3 seconds later.

I'm very efficient at positive self-talk.

After that I sit down to type the aforementioned genius idea and am immediately besieged by writer's block.

I get mad and start pinning random DIY projects until I realize I'm being a pansy, and I'm like:

So then I'm all,

The words start flowing, and I'm like this:

Ten minutes later, I stop to look over what I've written so far, and all I can think is:

I finally finish my post, and I'm like,

Then I hit publish and wait for comments.

After I get a comment:

Unless it's a mean one, in which case I'm like,

But secretly I'm in the corner doing this: 

After I finish my two boxes of thin mints (okay five), I'm like,

And that's pretty much the end of it (no pun intended) until a few days later, when I go back and read my post, you know, just for kicks, and I see a typo.

So then I fix the typo as quickly as possible and that's pretty much definitely the end of it until a few days later, when I go back and read my post. Again, just for kicks. And I start rethinking the genius of everything I wrote. I'm sitting there like,

Blogging. It's a vicious cycle of ups and downs, my friends. Do tread with caution.

* * *
Want more GIFs? Check out: How I Feel About Target in GIF Form