Sunday, December 29, 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David's town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancĂ©e, who was pregnant. 

While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger." 

At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they'd been told!

Luke 2:1-20 The Message

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Time to track Santa!!

Click HERE for the NORAD Santa Tracker and follow the big guy as he makes his way around the globe!


First winter run

I welcomed winter solstice with... a run!
I was out the door for Saturday's long run before 9 a.m. and was on the road when winter hit at 9:11 a.m.

It was a beautiful morning with clouds and sun. Gorgeous.
Welcome, winter!

Monday, December 23, 2013

No. 52

I did it: 52 books in 2013.

I really think my OCD genes are taking over. Once I start a challenge, I cannot quit!

I never planned to read 52 books this year, but once I started getting close, it was on! 
No. 52 was The Merchant of Menace by Jill Churchill. It's a mystery set at Christmas. Just what I wanted.

I did think it a bit odd that the mystery didn't kick off until about page 85. A slow start.

I'm still reading... we'll see what happens :)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

You're invited!

Please join us Christmas Eve at Newberg Friends for a wonderful candlelight service filled with music - including our handbell choir ("starring" me, my mom and my sis!)

We have three services to fit your schedule: 5, 6:30 and 8 p.m.

Click HERE for directions.

-Liz :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The THS crew

Julie, Nicole and I are on a roll - six weeks and going strong!

It's so great to get to know these awesome ladies while sweating out the stress of our days at THS.

This week, Nicole joined us for nearly 4 miles in the park. She took off to get her kiddo, and Julie and I did another 1.5 or so - for 5.3 in all. We finished in the neighborhoods, checking out the Christmas lights. LOVE the Santa hats on the Summerfield lampposts :)

Nos. 50 & 51

I picked up this beauty at last spring's women's retreat. The author, Lisa McMinn, was one of our speakers, and her sessions really resonated with me. So when I saw a table of her books in the back of the meeting room, I snatched up all of them... except "Growing Strong Daughters" - for obvious reasons ;)

Dirt and the Good Life is a series of short stories by Lisa and her husband, Mark, about life on their small farm in Newberg. I loved the stories of their farm and life. And the little "life lessons" were helpful and thought-provoking.
I also think Lisa and I would be good friends :)

Anyone want to borrow it? :)

I've read most of the THS Christmas books, so I picked up a couple from the Tigard Library.

Ex-Mas by Kate Brian is a teen love/adventure story. Very simple but cute.
I started it Wednesday on my lunch break and finished it Wednesday evening sitting next to my Christmas tree and a roaring fire :)

Just one more to go...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tuesday crew

For the seventh time in eight weeks, I hauled my butt out of bed for our Tuesday-morning run.

It's been warm, frigid, dry, wet, calm, windy. We only skipped the week with icy roads. It's been various combinations of Sarah, Brad and Kenny. Such a wonderful excuse to get up early and sweat while most people are still snug in their beds.

This afternoon, my THS buddies will hit the pavement. So blessed to have friends for support and encouragement. Love it! :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

No. 49

I've seen the movie lots but never read the book - until now.

John Grisham's Skipping Christmas was almost exactly like the book, minus a couple scenes. It's a short book, and it seems like the first time the movie was actually more detailed than the book. 

It's a cute, simple, predictable story. A fun Christmastime read.

Now that my 2013 running goal has been met, I wonder if I can hit another big reading goal: 52. Ready, set, GO! 


Monday, December 16, 2013


Yesterday I ran Portland's Holiday Half - my 10th half marathon.
And then this happened:
Oh, yeah! I'm certain I won't ever see that number again - but it was awesome to hit it just once :)

And I still have 2+ weeks left ;)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Rainy run

After a couple weeks of very cold temps and extremely dry air, rain returned yesterday afternoon... just in time for my post-work run with Nicole and Julie.

It looked miserable outside, and I secretly hoped they would wimp out. But they didn't - and I'm so glad!
Nicole did a fast mile on the track before heading to pickup her kiddo from preschool. When Julie got done fighting with her printer, she and I headed out for a solid 5 miler in the cold drizzle. (I just typed "druzzle"!)

It was a lot warmer than previous sub-freezing runs, but it certainly wasn't warm. We felt really hardcore :)

Making plans for holiday runs and possible races in the future :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Yeah, I live here

It's things like this that make me so very thankful:
Awesome :)

Monday, December 9, 2013


I was blessed last week with a whole bunch of workout buddies!

While I usually work out solo, I've been expanding my horizons and collecting a group of friends to share the experience.

Monday was my usual spin class with THS coworkers. Connie made it up on the fly, and it was tough!!

A bad cold kept Sarah away Tuesday morning, but cousin Kenny joined us for a frigid run.
Wednesday after work, Nicole, Julie and I bundled up for 5+ miles around the neighborhood and park. It was COLD but beautiful and awesome!
Cold remained the theme for this week. I put on four layers for the night-time Discovery Run scavenger hunt. Sarah came with us this month, and we sprinted all over Tualatin to collect tickets. We covered 5.5+ miles and got a whole bunch of tickets (these are just mine and Brad's)
And we won... NOTHING! Bummer.

But we DID get free Chipotle and hot chocolate. Then we capped our evening with Jamba - free with our previous race coupons!
Connie was supposed to run with me after work Friday, but she was home with a sick kiddo. Instead, I did a 3-mile race-pace run with Ralphie:
Saturday was 6 miles at race pace with George Bailey:
Brad went outside for his weekend run but I wussed out. Treadmills are so nice when it's 20 degrees outside ;)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Holiday highlights

I know I'm a week late, but here are some highlights from my Thanksgiving holiday:

Dinner No. 1 was in McMinnville with Brad's family. AJ is an amazing cook!
Debbie, the resident actress, is always asked to do a dramatic reading. She happily obliges:
Then came dessert. MMMMM!
Then it was time for dinner No. 2 at Eryn's house. I was already so stuffed, but that didn't stop me!
Saturday, Eryn and I were up before 4 a.m. for some Black Friday shopping with Dad, then breakfast/lunch with the fam. Then we headed to Newberg for a Christmas tree:
Oh, and we officially kicked off the Christmas season with Friday night's viewing of Christmas Vacation. The very best movie ever!

Saturday was a little treadmill action - 5 miles at race pace.
While watching this:

Saturday night, we sat in Brad's company's suite at Jeld-Wen Field to watch my Tigard Tigers take on the Central Catholic Rams in the state 6A semifinals.
We fought hard but were no match for Central's huge, crazy-fast guys. When you recruit, you can hand pick your team! :) So proud of Tigard's amazing season!

It was a packed weekend but a wonderful start to the holidays :)

No. 48

After biking home from work yesterday, I lit a fire in the fireplace, curled up with a fuzzy blanket and finished No. 48. Then I took a little nap on the couch. A perfect winter afternoon :)

No. 48 was Helen Hath No Fury by Gillian Roberts - actually a good mystery with twists all the way to the final pages. It was the second one I read in this series and I kinda like them. Another good pick from the THS library.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas Sherm

Just when I thought my bike couldn't get more rad...
Sherm has a Christmas tree!!

That makes me so happy :)

So did riding to work this morning in the below-freezing temps:
Two hours later, I still have a mark across my forehead from my headband! Very attractive.

When I got to work, I stood outside for a few minutes and soaked in the beauty of the morning:
What a wonderful way to start the day :)

Now I'm sipping peppermint cocoa and listening to Christmas music while I do lots of fun CE2 paperwork.

Happy wintery day, everyone :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

West Linn Turkey Trot 2013

A Thanksgiving-morning run has become one of my favorite holiday traditions! OK - I just typed that and then looked at last year's post. I opened with the exact same sentence. I guess I really mean it ;)

We loved last year's West Linn Turkey Trot and decided to do it again.
This time, turkey visors for everyone!
The course is sort of a double loop through the trails of Mary S. Young Park, including some stairs and some steep drainages. It was very, very crowded at the narrow start but then opened up a bit. As those things go, we started really slow and then found ourselves sprinting once the crowd thinned. We had to slow it down, especially when the stairs and steeps hit.

I'm happy with my 10:13 average over 3.42 miles:
It was a beautiful course and a perfect crisp morning!

Here comes Dad:
Eryn! It was her first time running since May - she's been nursing a nasty stress fracture in her foot.
So "they" say that if you want to win a race, sign up for a small-town event and go out there and shine amongst the common people. That worked great for me during this summer's Newberg Old-Fashioned Festival when I took second place in my age group!!


Someone invited Portland's Nike Olympic training team to this little small-town race! I'm talking Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan. Two of the fastest women in the country. Maybe even in the world. (both ladies in pink:)
No surprise: They took first and second place for women: (Kara in pink, Shalane in blue)
There were a couple men there, too, though I didn't catch their names. They are Olympic hopefuls, training in Portland for the 2016 games. One of them is a former world-record holder for the 10K. Obviously, they won the men's race:
It was really cool to be in the presence of running greatness.

While my speed didn't win me any awards, I did win a pumpkin pie in the drawing!!! I was so excited that someone asked my mom if I was drunk! HA
We didn't bake a pumpkin pie this year, gambling that one of the five of us would win one for the family dinner. Thanksgiving wasn't ruined ;)

Then there was this guy:
I'm not sure what he was doing, posing/flexing with his tennis shoes, wool hiking socks and short shorts, but I was laughing really, really hard!

We were not disappointed with this year's West Linn Turkey Trot. If you're looking for a casual, inexpensive family run, join us! The race was great, and the after party/raffle was super fun.