Friday, December 25, 2009

Wishing Everyone...

a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years!

The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.
~ Numbers 6:24-26

Monday, December 21, 2009

12 Weeks to 13.1 : Day One

I did my first workout at lunchtime today. It's the best time with the weather, plus my wonderful husband comes home at lunch and watches our three-year-old, giving me the chance to get to a beautiful nearby walk park (I'll have to post a photo here sometime!).

I went a little over the 30-minute time for the walking workout, I walked nearly 35 minutes. When I checked my distance (I am using the Nike + iPod sport kit) I had gone 2.16 miles! When Ruthie said 'moderate pace' I made sure to keep it up as best I could, but I did get winded at times.

Overall, though, it was the perfect day to start this training. Fifty-five degrees, not a cloud in the sky...it felt great. I have made more of an effort lately to get out and exercise, but I tend to walk for about 15 minutes or so. I didn't know if I'd keep up as good a pace doing twice the time, but I felt so motivated and had my playlists all ready to go.

Tomorrow will be my cross-training day, and I'll most likely be doing yoga on those days. After the walk today I'll definitely need a good stretch tomorrow!

Training

Today I begin something new, exciting and...fun? I'm sure I won't think it's fun some or most of the time, especially considering the weather. I am joining (from afar) my friend Ruthie in training to walk/walk-run a half-marathon!

Ruth has been doing the running and marathoning thing for quite a while now. And considering she's a wife and a busy mom of three, that's very inspiring and gives me pause to think every time I have an 'I'm too busy' excuse for exercise.

Anyway, I saw on Facebook that Ruth was inviting other women to train for this half-marathon that's taking place in Dallas in March. Two key things for me were the word 'walk' (because I will want to mostly be a walker for this!) and the fact that, although Ruth is training with the women where she lives, she's okay with others of us doing a 'virtual' training with them. I'll even be doing the half-marathon here on my own instead of in Dallas, but I know I really won't be doing it all by myself -- just knowing that there are a dozen or so other women with Ruthie walking or running in Dallas on that same day will be an encouragement.

What I love most about this training is that Ruth has been sending out emails with inspirational videos and pep-talks -- she even started a blog just for this half-marathon training (click on her name in bold near the top of the post)! Another huge help is that she sent out a training routine, but broke it down for walkers, walk-runners, run-walkers, and runners. I'll be focusing on the first two, probably the walking most but I'm going to try to get some running in there. At least I'll stay warm!

Here's what my schedule looks like for this week:

Walkers:
Monday: 30 min walk Moderate Pace
Tuesday: 30 min cross training (anything but walking)
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 30 min walk Moderate Pace
Friday: 30 min cross training (anything but walking)
Saturday: 3 miles (Conversational Pace)

Walk-Runners:
Monday: 32 min walk 3 mins run 1 min Moderate Pace
Tuesday: 30 min cross training (anything but walk-run)
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 32 min walk 3 mins run 1 min Moderate Pace
Friday: 30 min cross training (anything but walk-run)
Saturday: 3 miles walk 4 mins run 1 min

This is the kind of physical challenge I've been wanting to try for a while, I just didn't know what it would look like. I'm so glad Ruth is helping others out and inspiring them. Thanks Ruthie!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fun Friday Question!

Christmas day will be here in just one week! This year I'm understanding why parents get so excited about Christmas. I used to wonder why my parents were so happy and joyful when their pile of presents didn't seem to be near as fun or as surprising as my own. But now I get it, and I could not tell you who is more excited -- me or Miles -- for our little family's gift-opening tomorrow morning. I've been counting down the days with him and yesterday I told him 'just two more sleeps until we open presents!' (I got that expression from Joy.)

And yes, I realize the contradiction in my first paragraph...I said that Christmas was one week away, then shared that our family would be opening gifts tomorrow. That's just because Casey and I decided a couple of years ago that, because we always spend Christmas Day with one family or the other, we would still like to make those memories in our home with our children. It's so much fun putting up the tree, wrapping presents and setting them out, hanging our stockings...I want those memories to be in our home just as much in our families' homes.

When I was younger and would hear about my friends' family traditions at this time of year, I tended to think, 'my family doesn't have any Christmas traditions.' But as I grew older I could see that we did some little things here and there that became a part of our time together. I think part of not having the "big" traditions might be because my parents were born and raised on the other side of the world. I know there were certain things they did for Christmas, but it's not really the same as it is in America. I could be totally wrong, though.

But I love hearing about other family traditions: parents giving their kids a special ornament every year, or a new pair of pajamas, that kind of thing. I'm still searching for something like that for Casey and I to incorporate into our traditions. We're still a young family, but I love the idea of Miles looking back and remembering what each year brought. And not that I want something tangible he can look at, it's the memories I want him to cherish.

So today's Fun Friday Question is this: What are your favorite and best Christmas memories? Is there a particular tradition that your parents instilled in you that you would like to pass on?

Monday, December 07, 2009

It's Still Not Too Late to Order Your Scenes From Oxford 2010 Calendar

A little over a month ago I let everyone know about my 2010 calendar, Scenes From Oxford. I received orders for 19 calendars, enough for me to make a bulk order, and then shortly afterward I was able to sell the remaining six calendars!

There has been enough interest now for me to make another order of 25 calendars, which have shipped and should be here any day now. Some are already spoken for, so I wanted to get the word out again before they're all gone. I also asked those who have already received calendars for any feedback that I might share in this post, so here it is:
"Got your calendar. We love it. I really hope you do another one for the following year. Even if we had never visited Oxford before we loved it. Thanks." ~ Nikki
"I enjoyed it and look forward to using it! I like having a piece of Oxford with me in Nashville." ~ Ann
"I received my 2010 calendar in a very timely manner and LOVE IT. The pictures are amazing & I enjoy flipping through looking at them time & again. Your work is awesome, I wish you lived around here so you could take our family pictures. Thanks for creating such a beautiful calendar and allowing me to purchase one so that I can enjoy your God given gift of capturing His world." ~ Courtney
"I got the calendars today. Your photographs are amazing! I told Harold we need to make a visit to you as Oxford seems to be very picturesque. (And I'm a huge Grisham fan!) One of the calendars is already up on my office wall and the other is wrapped as a Christmas present for a friend who is a Faulkner fan." ~ Lori
"I love being able to show my family where I live every day of the year! And I loved the composition of the photographs." ~ Alison

If you'd like to order a calendar, just email me at costonoxford@yahoo.com. I'll send an invoice and as soon as you have paid (and the calendars are in), I'll ship your order!

Here's another glimpse at the 12 photos that are in the calendar:


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

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