Friday, October 25, 2013

Being Grateful

This upcoming Sunday, I will be teaching a Young Women lesson on why it's important to be grateful. As I've been studying and preparing to present this lesson, my heart has become very full. Thinking about everything I've been through in my life has made me stop in my tracks. Yes, I've gone through a lot of hard times - yet I am such a blessed woman! I am truly so grateful for every single day I've had on Earth, and I'm grateful I get to continue my days here...however long they may be. I am grateful for each moment our Heavenly Father (God) sees fit to give me in this wonderful body! (Quirks, issues and all!) I won't take one second on this planet for granted, oh no, I won't! :)

I've read so many great quotes, talks and scriptures tonight that have been greatly uplifting. (If you'd like to read them too, click here.) No matter what any of us have been through, or what is to come in our lives, we need to thank our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christdaily. In fact, here's what Psalms 100:4 tells us,
"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name."
Similarly, here's one of my favorite scriptures from "The Book of Mormon", Alma 37:37,
"Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day."
Of course, it's vitally important that we show gratitude to those around us. I can think of (nearly) nothing more annoying than not being thanked when I've done something kind for someone else. And I'm sure endless others feel the same way. It's not that I'm looking for recognition, or praise, or even a thank you card. It's just that I want to be thanked - just once! One tiny little verbal "Thank you!" is enough for me. :)

Because I feel the way I do about thank yous, some people might find me a little over the top when I thank them for the kind things they've said to me, or done for me, or given to me. The same idea applies to when those kindnesses have been given to my lovely family members. Yes, thanking others is high on my priority list. But I understand that sometimes we simply forget to say "thank you", and that's okay. After all, we are all human and very imperfect!

One of my main goals in life is to never have people doubt my appreciation for them, or leave any loose ends in a relationship. I never want people to wonder how I feel about them. I completely agree with what President Thomas S. Monson said in his wonderful talk, "The Divine Gift of Gratitude",
"We often take for granted the very people who most deserve our gratitude. Let us not wait until it is too late for us to express that gratitude...
"The loss of loved ones almost inevitably brings some regrets to our hearts. Let’s minimize such feelings as much as humanly possible by frequently expressing our love and gratitude to them. We never know how soon it will be too late. 
"...Often we feel grateful and intend to express our thanks but forget to do so or just don’t get around to it. Someone has said that “feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
"...My brothers and sisters, to express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven."
Brilliant words, right?! :)

Lastly, I had so much fun (!) creating this happy typographic design for my lesson. President Hinckley's words always inspire me to be a better person. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! :)

P.S. I'm also grateful that I figured out how to use PicMonkey! I think we're going to have a lot of fun times together in the future! Ha ha.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Book Review: "Pedal Forward" by Trey Hall

On October 6th, I received a nice email from my friend, Ann. After the usual catching-up that happens in an email when you haven't talked with someone for several weeks, Ann shared with me that her husband, Trey Hall, has written and published a book "Pedal Forward." I was so excited to hear this news, I literally squealed with joy!!! I replied with a way-too-long email of excitement (Is anyone surprised by my statement?!), and asked her if I could review the book on my blog. She graciously said yes. Yay for me! :) I get to review a book of someone I actually know! Yes, this is a first for me and I'm truly thrilled for the opportunity. :)

*Note to my friends: You should all write books so I can review them, too! Ha ha.

As I waited for my new book to arrive (I totally bought the hardcover version because I love hardcover books!), I reflected on how I met the Halls and how they've positively impacted my life.

I met Ann because I was the Young Women President of our previous ward in Texas, and Ann was our Stake Young Women President. I remember the first time Ann called me on the phone with official Young Women business. As we talked, she mentioned how they had moved from Colorado just a couple of years earlier. I pounced on that information because I dearly love Colorado! I was so excited to know someone living in Texas who loved Colorado as much as I did! Although, I was jealous that she had many more Colorado years under her belt than moi. :)

As we interacted over the next year and a half, it became evident (at least to me!) that Ann and I were put into each other's lives for a reason. It wasn't anything huge or dramatic, but we had many great conversations over that time. If it weren't for our church callings, I highly doubt we ever would have met. You see, my house was on the very far left border of my ward and our stake. Ann's house was on the very top right border of her ward and our stake! If I remember right, our Texas stake encompassed portions of four cities. Think about it for one second: if Greg and I would have rented a house one street to the west, or if Ann and Trey would have bought a house on the other side of their street, we never would have met! It really is quite amazing that we ended up getting to know each other at all. :)

Com'on! You have to admit that's a crazy-lucky-interesting connection! At any rate, I'm sincerely grateful I was given the opportunity to spend so much time with Ann during our Young Women activities. I also truly appreciate that she so willingly shared so much of her wonderful personality and many of her life stories with me. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Ann has positively affected countless numbers of young women and women in our church, and she continues to do so!

I met Ann's husband, Trey, when he shared his incredible bicycle-accident story with my previous ward's Young Men and Young Women group. It was an utterly fascinatingqueasy-stomach-inducing presentation that totally stuck with me! Even though there were times that night when I felt like I just might pass out from listening to the bloody details (Seriously, at one point, my ears felt hot, my heart and head started pounding, and my forehead started feeling moist!), I was completely intrigued by the multiple medical miracles that occurred. It was remarkable to think that Trey was a living, walking, thriving miracle of a man.

By the by, I'm continually mesmerized by the human body and how it all works—to the point that I read medical books for fun! Speaking of the miracle that the human body is, please take a minute to watch this inspiring video based on of one of my favorite General Conference talks, "Thanks Be To God," by Elder Russell M. Nelson. We are so blessed to have our precious bodies!!!

A little while after he spoke to us, I asked my previous bishop if we could ask Trey to email us a list of of his main points he wanted the Youth to take with them throughout their lives. I wanted to take those points and create a handout for our ward's Young Women, Young Men and their parents. Yes, I felt Trey's message was that important. My bishop gave the go ahead, so I emailed Ann my request.

Oh, and FYI, I had just started to get to know Ann when her husband spoke to us. At this point in our future friendship I was a little star-struck! :) She kindly replied that she shared the email with Trey, but he was traveling for business for the next five days and she would let him get back to me. He never did get back to me with those bullet points, but now we all have his book to read instead—yay for that happy news! :) I think he was super busy with his business responsibilities (that you can read about in his book) and simply forgot to get back to us. Seriously, I would take his book over one of my home-created handouts any day!

Now onto my book review!

"Pedal Forward" isn't very long and it's well written. I began reading it yesterday around 4:45 p.m. and finished it at 12:17 a.m. this morning, but there were many interruptions during those seven-and-a-half hours.

I was really getting into "Pedal Forward" when I had to stop reading to bake a cake for my youngest child's class project. I was bummed that I had to quit reading and realized I needed to find a bookmark. I decided to use one of the photos my mom printed off for me of our family vacation at the beautiful Zermatt Resort in Midway, Utah, July, 2013. Oh, we had such a grand time!!! I settled on a picture of me on my pink Lulu Schwinn cruiser bike, because my mom loves that picture. (Schwinn has updated Lulu's design since Greg gave me mine.)

Then I burst out laughing! It was hilarious that I wasn't even thinking about the title of the book! I was truly just looking for a bookmark...and I just happened to settle on my bike picture. A bike bookmark for a bike book! It was meant to be! :) Okay, so maybe I found it funnier than all of you, but it was awesomely fun to me in the moment.

This was the start of our extended family's bike ride through Midway, Utah...before the sunburn!

After I baked the cake, I had to go to my new ward's Young Women Presidency meeting. Two productive hours later, I eagerly jumped under my bed's covers and began reading "Pedal Forward" again. I couldn't put it down! Trey has such great wisdom to share with our world. He's also funny. I found myself chuckling quite a few times during my read!

I counted 47 parts of the book where I underlined portions of sentences, full sentences, or a couple of paragraphs. I really want to highlight and discuss each one of my underlined sections here, but I can't do that because I don't want to deprive you of discovering each delightful word for yourself...I'm no spoiler! ;) I fully intend to make Greg and our oldest child read it, for I know they will both love it as much as I do! I want our younger two children to read it, too, when they're a little bit older. We'll have our own family book club!

Okay, I'm caving a smidgen because I want to share this one section that made me laugh and grimace at the same time! Also, I feel okay sharing it because it doesn't give away any of Trey's wisdom.
"Standing was a new experience for me, and new experiences in the rehab hospital usually hurt. This hurt really bad. I leaned forward to rest my face on the shoulder of the therapist. After overcoming some dizziness, we all, in sync, moved one step—my first step. It hurt. It hurt really bad. The pain drove my face farther into my handler's shoulder. With the second step, I took one bite out of her shoulder. She screamed. I screamed. 
"My first post-accident walk ended after two steps and a bite to the therapist's shoulder. Things got much better after that."
I feel awful saying that I laughed, but I did! I think it's important to find the humor in hard situations.

"Pedal Forward" is such a great read. It's short, sweet, direct, and's all good! It would make a fabulous book club selection for any group—business, church, women, men, and teens. I think anyone and everyone should read this book and refer back to Trey's wisdom often! :)

P.S. I always felt strongly Trey Hall should write a book...I love it when I'm right! :)

*Update: Unfortunately, the wonderful, intelligent, friendly and inspiring Trey Hall left this earth entirely too early. 😢
"Trey died from a heart arrhythmia on May 25th 2015 while cycling with his wife. He died doing what he loved, cycling, in the mountains, with his wife by his side." If you'd like to know more, here's the link to his obituary.
Even though I knew Trey for a shorter period of time than I would have liked, he most definitely made a positive impact on my life! I'm truly grateful for the opportunity I was given to know Trey and be influenced by him for the better!

It's also very difficult for me to imagine his amazing and endlessly kind wife, Ann, without Trey by her side! They were truly meant for each other! Trey and Ann were a marvelous couple who 100% understand what true love is! My sad heart and teary eyes are grateful knowing they were married and sealed together for eternity in the gorgeous Salt Lake Temple—the house of the Lord!

So, after this incredibly sad turn of events, I am reminded yet again that we must live our lives to the very fullest—for we never know exactly when we'll be called back to heaven. We must live each day with zero regrets!

*Update: 08/01/2017: I finally read "Pedal Forward" out loud to Greg to/from our extended family vacation in Sun Valley, Idaho—July, 2017! I'm so happy to report that Greg loves Trey's book as much as I do! We had many great conversations about life and business while reading Trey's words. Greg highly recommends "Pedal Forward," too! Yay! 😊 So...have I convinced you to read it yet?! No? Well, it's rated 4.9 out of 5 stars on, so you should seriously go read it! 😁

Monday, October 7, 2013

Shut Down

I'm in a bit of shock because I just closed Adrie World's doors! (It was my first real blog.) Well it's still open to me, but it's closed to the public f o r e v e r. I can't believe I actually did it! It's a stunning feeling to know that the blog I've been writing for five years is suddenly closed! It feels like my old wounds have been stitched up and healed for good. Yay for that happy feeling! Now, I must go do the dishes. Gee, I'm grateful for my house (okay, my family's house) that I get to do my (our) dishes in! Serious. :)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Go to the Right, Stay to the Right

Last week, my lovely and wonderful sister-in-law informed me that she had been given tickets to the General Relief Society Meeting at the Conference Center and invited me to attend! This was the first time I've been able to attend, so I was super happy! (Every other time, I've watched it in a church building or on TV.) As I neared the Conference Center, I was thinking, "Where on earth should I park?", because I didn't have a parking pass. So, I prayed to know where I should park. :)

I received my answer, "Go to the right, stay to the right." I thought, "Hmm, did I just make that up?" But the Holy Ghost whispered to me again, "Go to the right, stay to the right." So I did! :)

I turned right at the very next street, 200 North, and continued to look for parking spaces on the right side of the street. I began to worry when I saw that every parking space was taken, but I finally found one right before the stop sign at 200 West. Like, I literally had a foot-and-a-half before the No Parking red curb began. What a relief it was to find a parking spot that wasn't a mile away! :) I walked toward the Conference Center and made it with plenty of time to spare. Yay!

The Relief Society meeting was so delightful - every speaker was inspiring! For me, the highlight of the night was singing the song, "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go". It spoke to my soul and made me think of all the places I've lived...all of the callings I've served in...all of the service I've given to my family and friends. It made my soul want to continue doing whatever our Heavenly Father and Savior desire of me. :)

Over the course of the evening, I also had an uplifting discussion with my sister-in-law. I love my extended family so much! :)

I have to say that I felt so sad for President Monson when he spoke his wife's full name at the end of his talk. Here are his beautiful paragraphs leading up to that moment:
"My dear sisters, your Heavenly Father loves you—each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there. 
"As we seek our Heavenly Father through fervent, sincere prayer and earnest, dedicated scripture study, our testimonies will become strong and deeply rooted. We will know of God’s love for us. We will understand that we do not ever walk alone. I promise you that you will one day stand aside and look at your difficult times, and you will realize that He was always there beside you. I know this to be true in the passing of my eternal companion—Frances Beverly Johnson Monson."
His words made me teary because I think I know why he said his wife's full name publicly. You see, when my youngest sister, Mackenzie, passed away, we said her name all the time. But as time passed, we said her name less and less. I missed saying her name so much, and still do. It was bad enough that we weren't saying her name in conversation very much anymore, but it was even worse to realize that I would never be able to call Mackenzie's name and get a response from her ever again - at least not in this world. Yes, I have no doubt that President Monson dearly misses speaking his lovely wife's name aloud. I will be praying for him...

After the meeting ended, my sister-in-law, her friend, and I started to head up the stairs with the rest of the ladies. When we realized our line was taking forever to move, we decided to head down the stairs instead - which I didn't know was an option! Our little adventure saved us a lot of time by taking us out the back door of the bottom level of the Conference Center - which just so happened to be a four minute walk away from where my car was parked! (I mapped it.) I asked my sister-in-law where she was parked, and she said she was parked clear on the other side of the Conference Center, which would have been a 15 minute walk. (I mapped it.) Thus, I gave my sister-in-law (and her friend) a ride back to her car, and we continued our great conversation. :)

During my drive home, I thought about my experience of going to the right and staying to the right. Because I followed the inspiration I received from the Holy Ghost and continually chose to stay to the right, I was able to have a much shorter walk than I would have if I hadn't listened - both to and from the Conference Center! I mean, who knows where I would have found a parking spot, and how l o n g my walk would have been? Also, because I listened, I was able to help out my sister-in-law and her friend. I saved them 11 minutes of unnecessary walking! :)

I further pondered that my experience is a great little life analogy. When we follow what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints teaches (from the Scriptures, etc.), and listen to the Holy Ghost and the Prophets, we are absolutely blessed. There are also times when our righteous choices bless other people's lives - which makes us feel so good! I love that my little "go to the right, stay to the right" experience fully resembles one of the happiest songs ever written, "Choose the Right". It's absolutely true!
1. Choose the right when a choice is placed before you.
In the right the Holy Spirit guides;
And its light is forever shining o'er you,
When in the right your heart confides. 
Choose the right! Choose the right!
Let wisdom mark the way before.
In its light, choose the right!
And God will bless you evermore. 
2. Choose the right! Let no spirit of digression
Overcome you in the evil hour.
There's the right and the wrong to ev'ry question;
Be safe thru inspiration's pow'r. 
3. Choose the right! There is peace in righteous doing.
Choose the right! There's safety for the soul.
Choose the right in all labors you're pursuing;
Let God and heaven be your goal.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A House Has Rooms

I've mentioned before that our family has lived in many different places over the past 16 years. Those places include the following residences (Please excuse my lack of proper real estate terms!):
  • a one-bedroom, one-bath basement apartment (rented)
  • a top-floor, two-bedroom, one-bath apartment (rented)
  • a three-bedroom, two-bath, split-level house (owned)
  • a three-month stint with Greg's parents in their six-bedroom, two-bath rambler
  • a three-bedroom, two-bath, basement apartment (rented)
  • a two-story, three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath house (rented)
  • a two-story, four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath house (owned)
  • a two-and-a-half month stint with my mom in her two-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath, two-story condo
  • a three-bedroom, two-bath rambler (own)
  • a three-bedroom, two-bath, one-floor house (rented)
  • back to our three-bedroom, two-bath rambler
Now before you get all "What's wrong with them? Why have they moved so many times?!"  judgmental on me (Don't do it!), you must know that many of those moves were due to unforeseen circumstances like job layoffs. The first layoff came to my husband even though he had two bachelor's degrees! The second layoff was due to The Great Recession, when my husband was nearly finished with his MBA. Might I add that my husband is a most excellent employee and a great provider for our family. (I'm very grateful for Greg's current company!)

My point is, you just never know what life is going to throw at you—even if you are super-prepared like we were/are. One job layoff caused a domino effect, which resulted in our family moving four times! The other layoff caused us to move twice. But the other moves were choices we made, due to our desires for a larger house or a new job for Greg. With every move we made, we followed the spiritual promptings we received—which have always been spot-on. :)

Side note: I'm guessing if I were employed outside our home, we wouldn't have moved so many times. Our society seems to operate under the idea that each household needs two employed adults—which is simply not true. Thankfully, Greg and I happily decided before we were married that I would be a stay-at-home mom. Thus, with the choice we made to not have me work outside the home, we had to do what we could do to stay financially afloat. Neither Greg nor I have ever regretted our decision! :) Yes, it's been physically and emotionally hard to move so many times, but we've absolutely "made it." Yay! We are immensely satisfied that we have stayed true to our family's goal of having me stay home to raise our priceless children. *Because there's no going back, you know. Babies grow into children, who transform into teenagers, and teenagers become adults faster than you can snap your fingers! We must live in the childhood moment and cherish each day before our babies are grown and gone! :)

As Greg and I have looked back on all of our moves, we can see that every single one of them needed to happen. We learned so much from every move. For a couple of years after we moved from Colorado, I worried that the beautiful and grand house we bought there was a mistake (because it was such a hard trial!), but in hindsight I know—absolutely—that we made the right decision. We were supposed to live there, trials included!

Even though I can't believe I'm writing this (And people who know me will be shocked! Ha ha.), I am sincerely grateful for each move our family has made. I couldn't say that even eight months ago. Yet, with the way our life has settled down with this past move, I feel a happiness that cannot be adequately described! I agree with what my mom stated to me a few months ago: I feel we've learned things that we couldn't have learned any other way. I'm grateful every single day for this lovely little 70s rambler. We affectionately refer to our house as The Disco Dandy! It really is such a fitting name for this happy (old) place. :)

That said, one of my children is struggling with our current house. My child is embarrassed by the way our house looks on the outside. My child thinks our house has nothing fun to do inside or outside of it. My child doesn't want to invite friends over to our house. This fact makes me sad.

After my child expressed the above feelings, I had a frank discussion and explained (something like),
"Just because our house doesn't have two-stories, or six bedrooms, or the latest Xbox, or a basketball court, or the fanciest furniture, or designer drapes, or 12-foot ceilings, or anything else you think we should have, it doesn't mean that our house isn't worth living-in or visiting. I've learned that a house has rooms in it—no matter the size. All houses have bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a family room, etc. It doesn't matter how many rooms a house has. It doesn't matter how big those rooms are. It doesn't matter if a house has the coolest gadgets, or not. A house's decor doesn't matter.
What matters is how a house feels when you walk inside. What matters is that a house engenders peace, comfort and happiness. What matters is a house is a place where people want to stay and spend time with those they care about. 
Plus, a small house can be as nicely decorated and well-cared-for as a larger/grander house. Don't knock the small spaces! Our house is open to any of your friends at any time. Invite them over! Have fun with them! And don't feel like you can't hang out at someone else's house that's smaller or less pretty/fun than ours, either. Life is not about stuff! Life is about personal connections with people we care about, and a well-cared-for house (no matter the size) helps strengthen those important relationships."
My child listened, but I think it's going to take a while for the ideas I've presented to sink-in. For we all know this world is a competitive and comparative place. Many people only look at what other people own, not at who they are.

I hope I will be able to help all of my children fully internalize that what matters in life is doing their very best—not someone else's best. As long as they are doing their best job of taking care of whatever they've earned, own, or been given in their lives, they can have confidence with who they are. Then they won't need to compare themselves to anyone else or their stuff!

Please let me state that I have no problem if people have more than others. If someone has worked hard in their lives and have been able to earn their way to the top, or if a rich relative gave them an enormous amount of money, I say, "Yay, you're rich! Good for you!" :) But I also think, "Feel free to invite me over to your grand and glorious house for a party sometime!" Ha ha. I'm truly happy for people who have a lot. Also, I don't look down on other people who appear to have less. I have definite thoughts about the Less is More theory, which I'll write about in another post someday.

Life is what it is. We can either have a good attitude and embrace the life we've been given, do our best to find solutions and ask for help if it's needed, or we can have self-defeating thoughts and shrivel into a mushy-moldy-stinky tomato! Eww, gross! ;)

I hope everyone can see the value of their house—no matter the size, and make it a delightful environment for every soul who enters its doors!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Crestwood Challenge

It's been 15 weeks and four days since we moved into our current (old) house. Yay for the happy day!!! About one month before (and until) we moved, I was so busy with packing up our rental house that there was no need to go workout somewhere else. I call it "The Moving Workout"! It was truly such a great workout, simply because the second after I awoke and got the kids off to school, I was dejunking/decluttering or packing up a bajillion boxes for our move. I packed and worked and worked and packed until my body couldn't move anymore! I would fall into bed every night and not budge until my alarm went off the next morning.

Below is a picture I took of myself to chronicle the exhaustion, five days before we moved. Below that is a picture I took, and smiled in, because I couldn't believe how awfully tired I looked in the first picture! I wanted to at least say, "Hey, even though I'm tired, I'm moving to my home! Life is so great!!!"


But life is GREAT! :)

My moving workout continued for about six weeks after we moved-in. I was in great shape. My biceps were awesome from endlessly lifting all of those heavy boxes. I was seriously a tough girl! Ha ha.

*And just so you know, I wasn't the only one packing up stuff. Yes, I organized and packed up the house, but Greg moved everything I had packed from the house onto the moving truck. Greg also packed many of his own boxes. Our darling children even helped a smidgen by bringing Greg some of the small plastic totes and boxes! When we arrived at our house, Greg unloaded the moving truck and I unpacked the boxes/arranged the house. Yes, we make a great moving company all by ourselves! :)

Sadly, since about the end of July, my moving workout is no longer enough of a workout. My house is mostly put together. Well...I still have a bunch I can do with our house, but I can take my time. (Isn't that the way with all houses? There is always something to be done!) I have the major stuff totally taken care of. It's a nice feeling. :) But with our move mostly complete, I realized that it was time to get crackin' with a new exercise plan. Because I've not been working out regularly (I've gone walking a few times in the past couple of months), I knew I needed to start small and work my way back to my prior exercising habits. But I'm not depressed in the least (!) with my exercise regression, for I know that I can absolutely work back up to the level I had been exercising at before our big move. :)

Thus, I happily started walking for real this week! The first day, I went with a friend in my neighborhood. It felt wonderful and the conversation was great, but I knew I was craving more of a workout challenge. So yesterday, I decided to really push myself. Yet I knew that I couldn't push too hard, because I wasn't sure if my body would really be okay with the high altitude. Still, I was excited for the exhausted feeling that comes from a good workout! :)

I decided to just head uphill and go until I couldn't continue any farther! I started out small, but kept pushing myself as I went. Along the way, I decided to take some pictures of the glorious scenery around me.

After walking for quite a while, I realized that my body was adjusted to the high altitude. YAY! I thought, "I can push as much as I want!" It helped that I had oodles of happy music on my iPod to help me along my way. There are times I like to walk/run/exercise in quiet, but most times I love being motivated by beautiful music! It seems that the second I hear a happy or beautiful song, my body can do more than I expected. :)

I had pushed myself for a while when I came upon the most beautiful sight: open fields, trees and mountains. So I decided to quit pushing and take some more photos! It was a most incredible view, and my heart was swelling with a joy that is indescribable!

*You must know that as I began taking photos the song, "Oh, What A Beautiful Morning", performed by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, started playing on my iPod! I quietly laughed out loud and thought, "This is craziness! What a fun, awesome, happy, fortuitous moment!"

What a beautiful morning!

My photos don't do the views justice, but hopefully you can grasp my happiness. I am so grateful for this beautiful earth! As I was taking the photos, I thought, "France has nothing on us! Ha ha. Okay, except maybe we're a little drier than France." ;) Also, I took the photos in three different spots as I continued toward the mountains.

As I neared the top of the road, I was feeling quite fatigued. Thus, I laughed again when No Doubt's, "I'm Just a Girl" came on my iPod! It gave me all the motivation I needed to continue! :) Yes, I totally took a picture of the end of the road because I was proud of myself for making it to the top! (In the non-prideful way, of course!)

On my way back down the road, I decided to walk/run on the curb. I know it sounds a little nutty, but I love trying to keep my balance on street curbs. It's an odd little trait I've had ever since I was a little girl. I think it's my love of gymnastics shining through. Don't knock curb walking/running, it's a great addition to any workout!

Round trip, I think my walk/run/curb-balancing-act was only about 3.25 miles. That said, I think part of my excursion counts for more because half of my trek was continuously uphill!

As I finished my adventure, I decided that one day I would love to be able to run continuously up Crestwood Road without stopping. I think it will take me many weeks (if not months!) to get to that point, but I'm totally up for The Crestwood Challenge!