26.2 (barely)

Whew… Well I’m back in Raleigh after a crazy fun weekend in Ohio.  We saw lots of friends that I miss DEARLY and I absolutely loved getting to introduce the husband to “my Cedarville-world.” My years at Cedarville were so formative and I had such a wonderful “Cedarville experience,” so it was really important for him to meet the folks who had such an impact on my life! Loved every second of it. Definitely TOO short of a trip.

Race day was crazy. The weather at first was a little yucky, but it turned out to be decent running weather after about mile 8. Cool – not too hot or cold – and a little drizzle. Praise God for no thunderstorms!!!

Trashbags to keep us from getting soaked before the race…

Alicia and her husband Pat. Pat did the half and Alicia conquered her first full! WAY TO GO ALICIA!!!!!

This race was significantly more difficult for me in comparison to my first marathon in Raleigh. And if you think I’m just being modest, you can tell from my time alone. In raleigh, I finished in approx. 4 hrs. and 40 min. This time, I added an entire hour. Last time when I finished I was sore. This time, I’m in pain. Last time, I didn’t walk except through water stations. This time, I walked at least 2 full miles after mile 21 and then when I did start running again, I was being passed by fast walkers. 🙂 I even passed by a race medic and they asked if I wanted my leg wrapped (evidently I looked ridiculous while running/limping/gimping).

That’s right. I was in the back of the pack, finishing with the elderly, injured, and the walkers.

But I finished.

This fella was such a good man… texting me… making sure I was ok… having friends shoot me texts. It was really encouraging to have family and friends communicating encouragement/prayers/support during those difficult miles. Especially when I was so disappointed with my time and race performance.

I’m thrilled that I finished, but what I’m MOST excited about is the $2500 that will go directly to water projects in Uganda through Samaritan’s Purse. I loved being a part of Team Samaritan’s Purse and am so excited about the work that they do! So THANK YOU to many of you who helped bring water to the Kihuura community. Your generosity far outweighs the joys of finishing a marathon. You made it worth every mile.

Tonight… the sweet Mister got me a deep tissue massage for some post-race body therapy and I can’t wait!!!!!!!!! Seriously… I think I NEED it. And I’m fairly certain that if you saw me walking today you would agree. 🙂

Happy Monday!

Staycation Over.

I’m sorry. I know… I’ve been a bad blogger this past weekend. 🙂 Sorry for the absence. BUT as a result… here is a jammed pack crazy review of the past few days and the staycation.

First thing you should know… I wrote LOTS of papers… Which means (drum roll) I am DONE with all of my seminary papers. BOOYAH. May 18th can’t come soon enough.

Second, I learned how to make Strawberry jam from my Mil (mother-in-law) during our hiatus to Rose Hill. If you know me… you know that strawberries might be on my top 5 fav. things in this world, so this was a really good thing. I thought it was going to be really complicated, but it wasn’t nearly as crazy of an event as I thought it would be.

(sorry for the pic quality… taken from my phone… not as great as my camera… I know)

the jam cooking

and then we returned to Raleigh, I used some extra fabric and made a few of these:

Cute eh?

Then we had a wedding this weekend that was pretty much a high school reunion for the Mister. I think my fav. thing about weddings from his home town is that it’s guaranteed family time with the Salmon crew… and what a crazy crew they are! I know not everyone adores their in-laws like I do… so I am TRULY blessed.

And then last night (I told you we had a lot of catching up to do…) we went and grabbed some Froyo with some of my fav’s. With all of the “adults” plus all the kiddos, I think we took over yogurt mountain’s patio area. Folks didn’t know what hit them. Here are some of my fav photos from the evening.

First things first: the Watermelon Sorbet is fantastic. I tried it skeptically and am now addicted. Add fresh fruit and sour gummy worms and it is to die for. Seriously, go get you some.

Disclaimer: Some of my friends’ kids are so stinkin’ cute. I couldn’t help but keep snapping shots of them. So sorry about the surplus of kiddy photos, but seriously how can you not love these faces. 🙂

This cutie kept asking me to take photos of her, YES. Yes I will, gladly.

The Mister with sweet Em. I love this photo!

I love the little leaf on her dress!

Caption, “Taylor, what are you doing to my baby?” I kinda love these ladies.

Sweet Eve!

I also love this one of Callie and her girls.

Ok… now that I’ve just overwhelmed you with lots of photos… (SORRY! I just couldn’t help myself!) I must go…

Oh one more thing… I also sewed a lot but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see all the fun little goodies that were made for Adding Anna Carson.

Much love!

Rose Hill Bound!

Guys, it’s going to be a great rest of the week. The beginning of the week I spent the majority of my time reading and writing on these:

No, my project is still unfinished (only 5 pages shy), but we Salmon’s were feeling the need for some rest, relaxation, and family time! So yesterday after I went to NC State, met with some folks in my department, picked up this handy thing (see below),  AND then we hopped in the car and headed to Rose Hill, North Carolina. Home of the world’s LARGEST frying pan and the Salmon family.

GO PACK!

Love this. See I wasn’t lying! It’s huge!

Anyways, so me and blogging may not happen these next few days… we shall see. I might be too busy making strawberry jam and sleeping.

Much love! B

Staycation!

Today’s the day! My first day of Staycation Week! 🙂

In light of my days at work being numbered, I thought I would use some of my PTO to get some much needed writing done on an Independent Study that I must finish in the next few weeks. Seriously… LOTS of reading and writing HAVE to get done. Which means that I’m stationed at a Bruegger’s eating carbs, drinking coffee, and praying my papers will write themselves (I’m also blogging, surfing the web, online window shopping, did I mention blogging, and taking photos of myself with my mac??? don’t judge me… I’m the queen of procrastination see exhibit A).

exhibit A

Anyways, while I’m procrastinating I thought I would catch you up on the weekend. A few great things happened:

1. One of our friends was at the Gospel Coalition conference this past week, so we thought we’d have a welcome home party for him at the airport. Who doesn’t love a welcoming party at the airport?

Surprise!

I mean, who wouldn’t be surprised to see these happy faces waiting for them:

Airport reunions are the best!

2.  Friday we went to the State vs. UNC baseball game and watched the pack pull out a W! We had a great time with Ben’s parents, brother, & the Roarks. It was especially entertaining introducing Em and the boys to Mr. Wolf. It was awesome, if Mr. Wolf got within 10 feet of Em, she would let him know it was a little too close. Amazing. Needless to say we only got a pic of one of the Roark kiddos with the wolf:

The boys eyeing the wolf trying to figure out whether or not they want to hug him…

H. cozied up to him a bit… and by cozied I mean stood within a few feet of him. 🙂

3. Holy Tornado. I don’t know where yall were on Saturday… but if you were in N. Carolina you know that we had some serious weather issues. Needless to say my 20 mile run happened inside. I would fill you in on the details, but I’m in a positive mood. No need to relive the run from you know where. I will tell you that it involved getting started 2 hrs. later than I hoped, a tornado, a treadmill, electricity going out, running in the dark at a gym, and a borrowed Ipad, to watch movies, not working.  All that to say… I eventually finished my 20 miles… Praise God. I can only hope that race day holds better circumstances.

4. Baby Jacob was born! Our sweet friends, Chris and Marie (remember the baby shower we hosted a few weeks ago??), had a HUGE baby boy yesterday. He’s precious & we couldn’t be more happy for them!

Alright… I think that’s a good recap of the past few days! I do need to actually get some writing done… Must graduate. So I’ll leave you with this:

BYE!!!!! Much love!

Killing the over-planner

I’m a planner. I love calendars, long-term goals, short-term steps that correspond with long-term goals, and pretty pens/notebooks to write out these goals and steps. I like having a vision and tangible steps to make my dreams happen. In light of this slightly controlling personality trait of mine, a recurring lesson that I keep on not-learning is that I must learn to hold on to my plans loosely.

If I look at the past 8 years of my life my plans have changed almost quarterly. I never planned to attend Cedarville University and I sure as heck never intended on working for and graduating from a Southern Baptist seminary. I didn’t plan on getting married pre-28, and I wasn’t planning on staying in Raleigh for more than 2 years. I never expected to graduate from one master’s only to jump straight into another (one day, I WILL be done with school!). And although none of these things were in my original plan, I never expected to be so blessed in light of so many of my plans changing.

Now yes, I understand that there is a wisdom in planning. But it is evident in my life that I have a tight grip on my plans and it usually takes a sledgehammer to force me to let go.  slightly PROBLEMATIC.

Although I can look back on my life and see God’s sovereign hand, I still go kicking and screaming when I sense a current change in my plans. Even though I fully acknowledge that 12-18 months down the road I’m going to look back see His faithful hand, I still throw a hissy fit and organize a thorough argument on why an all-knowing God should understand that my plan is fool-proof, brilliant, and better than His. Why is that?! Am I crazy?!

Our college ministry at our church has been going through the book of James and I’m still chewing on the James 4: 13-17 sermon done a few weeks ago. Earlier in vs. 1 the passage it says,

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?”

I have been feeling that internal quarrel for the past few months and am continuing to feel the tension between my desires and God’s desires for my life. What I’ve come to realize is that I start kicking and screaming when my passions and desires for my life become self-centered and a major priority. I see changes happening and rather than viewing them through a Gospel-centered framework, I filter them through a “is this what I want/planned” mindset.

Basically… it’s all about me and thus the root of this tension is that I’m a self-centered, controlling, sinner. Ugh. I hate admitting sin (which is probably symptomatic of another flaw in my fallen nature…)

So in light of that… I keep re-learning the same lesson, praying that each time my plans change, God will give me grace to become less attached to my ideals and more attached and dependent on Him. It’s a tough lesson… but maybe one day I’ll get it…

Maybe.

Any of you in the same boat, still wearing water wings, refusing to jump in the water??  No, just me? Well… I happen to like water wings, and it’s going to take some time for someone to rip them off of me and push me out of the boat… sigh. I make it so much more difficult than it needs to be.

Happy Thursday, Friday’s a comin’!

Adding Anna Carson

Over the next few weeks you’re going to hear me talk about Adding Anna Carson so I figured I should go ahead and introduce you to her now. 🙂 The sooner the better right?

My bride doula and a fav birthing doula, Marisa Dempsey, is adding to their already wonderful family. Seriously, the Dempsey family is ridiculous in the best of ways and I’m thrilled that they want to add a baby girl to their family through adoption! Honestly, I can’t think of a better family to adopt. They’re amazing people who are not only solid, but they’re probably some of the most crazy fun folks I know.

If you know me, you know that adoption holds a special place in my heart so I’m THRILLED to support Adding Anna Carson as MUCH as possible. Soooo, as soon as I saw that Marissa was selling homemade goods to raise funds for the adoption, me and my sewing machine were ready to jump on board. And you know what that means…

A trip to Jo-Ann Fabrics!!!! (yes yes yes yes YES!)

So after work last night, I took the long way home and stopped by Jo-Ann’s. I’m ashamed to post a pic of all the pretty fabrics I bought… but you’ll see them soon enough in sewing projects for Anna Carson. I did happen to buy some interfacing (finally), pretty satin, and a zipper so I could finish I purse I’ve been working on… AND… VOILA!

It’s a purse!!! An actual purse! That holds stuff (like my 50 lip glosses). With pretty lining and a zip pocket! Needless to say, I am pretty excited about it and I may or may not have run around my apartment modeling my purse for the Mister.

It was a really fun project because it was my first try at bags, so I made thousands a few mistakes, had to take seams out, re-sew on a few items, did things backwards… but still… at the end of the day… a purse was born.

Anyways… after I get those nursing covers and a few baby blankets made for Adding Anna Carson, I’m thinking about playing in the bag world. We’ll see!

Happy Wednesday to you all!

ps. Yes I also purchased one of these at 40% off at Jo-Ann’s so I could finally organize all of my sewing tools that have been in a plastic grocery bag these past few months. 🙂

Much love – B

Hello World

It has been an amazing whirlwind weekend.  Friday and Saturday were great, but Sunday stole the show!

I woke up at 6:00am to a phone call from my mom saying that my sister-in-law, Krista, was in labor… My first reaction,  “WHAT?!?!?! She isn’t due till May 7th!?!?!” CRAZY. Soooooo… I got ready, ran to church, talked with Ben, high fived the Roark clan, & then hopped in my car and headed to Tennessee to see Nephew #2 be born.

BUT… not only is Nephew #2 an early bird, he’s also a fast little guy. Evidently it only took 3 good pushes to pop him out! Before I even reached the interstate, the little guy had made his debut into the world.

Seriously y’all, I booked it to TN. I don’t think a trip has ever gone SO quickly! It was SOOOOOO good to be able to be with family during such a special time. The little man weighed 5 lb.s 11 oz. and we still don’t have his height quite yet. They had to put him in the NICU for some minor breathing complications so we had to scrub in to see him. He was so sweet with his little tubes and heart monitor – broke my heart! We were all so very thankful for a healthy baby boy!!!  Here are a few photos of the day, sorry some of them have poor lighting and for the multitudes of photos (i’m a proud aunt… don’t judge me). Needless to say, they keep the lighting dim in the NICU and a flash is obviously not appropriate. 🙂 Enjoy!

Me and Pam (Krissy’s ma) scrubbing in to see the little man.

Sweet little guy being held by his mamma for the first time!

Shows how big lil’ guy is in comparison to Daddy’s hand.

Mitch & Bubba looking after little man!

Seriously… how cute is he???

And isn’t Nephew #1 the world’s cutest big brother????

Ok I’ll stop being THAT aunt now… but for real… I love my nephews!

Much love – Crazy Aunt B