{Jetta Belle Turns 2}

I can't believe that a year ago today I was blogging about Jetta Belle's 1st Birthday.  I cannot believe our big girl turns 2 today!  Time has certainly flown by.  If you've been tracking with us here you're pretty in the know as far as what our big events have been this year, so instead of recapping Jetta's last year of life I wanted to write a letter to her instead.  Obviously she's a dog and won't understand, but I love to write and express love through letters.  So here's to you Jetta Belle.

Dear Jetta Belle,

Little border collie, Moosebreath, Moose, Princess, JB baby, I cannot believe you are 2 years old today!  We literally just brought you home from the Ruff Mutt Border Collie Rescue yesterday, or so it feels!  Where did time go?  You have completely stolen our hearts.  I didn't know it was possible to love a furbaby as much as I love you, but you have shown me what being a dog mom is all about.

I am grateful for the joy and laughter you bring to our lives, your unbridled enthusiasm for life, the way you love every person you meet, your sweet snuggles and the way you rest your head on me, the way you let us kiss your muzzle and how you don't kiss back when you're too tired from the day, the way you sit on me in the bed when there's plenty of space elsewhere, your obsession with being outside (even if you are getting a little cray cray these days), your love for frisbee and your serious ups, the way you love Ryan and want to be wherever he is, the way you bury more bones than you eat, the way you whimper when you want someone to catch a fish so you can kiss it, the way you mostly enjoy, but often tolerate, Oakley Mae and are teaching her how to do border collie things like swim, play, and chase squirrels, for your wookiee noise, for the way you allow me to dress you up in ridiculous costumes, for the way you rock a bandanna, the excitement you bring to every day and see each day with, the feelings that well up inside me when I think about how much our someday kids are going to love you like Ryan and I do, and for all the things I can't give words to, the simplicity and truth of your unwavering love towards us and the fact that you remind me every day that our wonderful, loving, heavenly Father meticulously made you with love to be part of our family.

Looking at you proves that the LORD takes great joy in His creations.  You are one of a kind, sweet Jetta, and I am so unbelievably grateful you are ours.

I love you girl,

Mama Taylor

"Tolerating" the Queen of Hearts Halloween costume

Kisses from my girl

{Tired Legs, Full Heart}

Happy Sunday evening sweet friends!  I hope you're enjoying the close of your weekend by winding down with those you love.  I am currently waiting on my Mr. to come home to enjoy the rest of our weekend together, and until then am snuggling with my border collie babies, one of whom turns 2 this week!!!  We celebrated Miss Jetta Belle big last year, and haven't make finite plans of how we'll dote on her this year, but you can guess it'll be equally as eventful.

As I have utterly failed the 31 day blogging challenge, I have surrendered to my fate and quit.  I have been suuuuuper busy between work, training, and living life that I haven't even glanced the direction of my blog.  Poor blog, I'm sorry I rejected you.  I've missed you.

Since I failed at the challenge, I figured I'd just get back into my normal routine of blogging.  The challenge was fun, but a lot of it felt forced.  I think I'll go back to it when I need a break from life and want to blog about something random.  For now, let me fill you in on how training has gone as of late.

Last week the emphasis of my training was on swimming.  I swam thousands of meters every day, and let me tell you not only did I have noodle arms, my back was soooooo tight.  I am definitely going to need to cash in my Christmas massage shortly.

This week, the focus was on running.  I didn't get all of my runs in because I had a work retreat all day Thursday and Friday which didn't leave me any time to run.  It was also insanely cold... like 17 degrees cold.  That is too cold for me.  I wonder if I would get used to it if I lived in a place that was that cold frequently, but since I live in the great state of Texas, I am grateful to not have to endure that on a regular basis.  I got a swim and short run in on Monday and Tuesday, and a 60 minute long run in on the treadmill Wednesday during lunch because I forgot my sunglasses in order to run outside.  Thursday and Friday were toss out days for me unfortunately, but I made it up this weekend a little bit.

Yesterday I ran 8.10 miles around beautiful White Rock Lake in an hour and a half.  The run felt strained and really hard, but the scenery was too beautiful to give into the lack of ease I was feeling, and the weather could not have been more perfect.

My first panoramic photo on my iPhone

Gorgeous White Rock

What did I tell you?  It was freaking gorgeous yesterday, and the amount of people trekking around the lake on their legs, on bikes, on scooters or roller blades, with kiddos and puppies, with or without music, proved it.

Today I rode the bike for an hour and then got on the treadmill for 15 minutes.  I was supposed to hit 30 minutes, but my legs felt like a brick wall.  I don't think I stretched nearly as much as I should have after yesterday's run, and my hip has been bothering me a little bit, so I listened to my body and just got in a little over a mile.  While my legs are pretty tired after this busy weekend, I am so grateful to have a healthy body and strong legs to carry me.

This week is bike focused.  Luckily I went to Richardson Bike Mart and grabbed some extra tubes for my rides this week.  I hope to hit every single thing on my training schedule this week even if it's out of order, but since I have yet to do that we'll see what happens.  Here's what lies ahead for me this week:

Swim: Race Specific
Warm Up: 2 x 75, last 25 in each is backstroke
Main: 2 x 600, first at RPE 4, second at RPE 8
Cool Down: 150 easy

Bike: 75 minutes.  Find hills, keep RPE 3-4 in flats, higher when climbing.  Include out of the saddle and focus on constant peddling even on downhills.

Bike: 60 minutes at RPE 4 on trainer or road.  Focus on maintaining a comfortable position without sacrificing power.

Bike: 75 minutes long tempo work
Warm Up: 15 minutes RPE 3 working to 4 by end
Main: 50 minutes at RPE 5-6 steady mix of aero and non
Cool Down: 10 minutes at RPE 2-3

OFF!  Hooray.  Time to rest and recover.

Swim: Long
400, 4 x 100, 200, 2 x 100, 100
Long are at RPE 3, 100s are at RPE 7

Run: 1 hour, steady RPE 3-4 effort.  Good stretching afterwards.

Bike: 90 minute long bike.

Run: 30 minutes post ride recovery run at RPE 3.

Bike: 2:30 hour long bike, easy pace.  Try out fuel/hydration that you plan to use during races.

So, that's the insane schedule for this week.  Are you as exhausted after just reading it as I am?  Sheesh it'll be a busy week!

At this point I'm 10 weeks away from race day!  I am getting really, really, really nervous!!  During this time I'm praying for peace, confidence, and for good health.  I'm relying heavily on bible verses and leaning on the LORD when my workouts get hard.  If you're up for a ride, let me know! :)

In other news, I wore my tri shorts that my sweet in-laws gave me for Christmas today!  They are awesome.  I'm really excited to wear them more.

With that I bid you adieu!  Have a wonderful week friends!

{This, That, & the Other}

I think I've just come to terms that blogging every single day is pretty unrealistic.  I guess I just have too much going on.  Between getting up early for work this week, having lots of work outs, and coming home tired, cooking dinner, and doing quiet time this has just been lowest on the priority scale.  Sorry friends.

This week has been really heavy emphasis on swimming.  In the next three weeks the plan is to focus heavily on single sports with lesser emphasis on the others.  My arms are jello.  Day 2 my arms were jello so you can imagine why I'm dreading tomorrow.  It's a long day too.  Aiyaiyai!

Alrighty, since I'm behind again let's catch up on this train.

In our fridge currently resides some leftovers, fresh fruit, guacamole, condiments, juice, milk, chocolate soy milk, eggs, butter, and the usual.  Our dishwasher has been clogged for, count it with me, a week now.  I'm going insane.  We're trying to eat up as much stuff as we can in the fridge so we don't have to make new stuff and dirty more dishes.

3 healthy habit I'm trying to make this year are to eat more lean proteins, greens, and try going gluten free.  It has really done wonders for some people with hypothyroidism.  I say this as I'm doing none of the above and eating a big bowl of velveeta macaroni and cheese.  Fail.

In 5 years it's really hard to say where Ryan and I will be.  I would hope by then we're both in jobs that make our hearts happy, with a kiddo or maybe one on the way, plugged in at a church, and perhaps homeowners.  All those things seem reasonable within the next 5 years. :)

How's that for quick and easy?  Sorry I stink at this blog challenge thing.  I'll try to get better... unless swimming tomorrow gives me worse noodle arms than ever before.


{Registration & Black Beauty}

I am officially registered for the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3!!!!

Never have I ever registered for a race that expensive or that required me to put my primary insurance provider and policy number.  That's a wee bit intimidating!  They also asked you to write a little bit about why you're doing the race and about yourself.  That part was pretty cool!

Woooooo!  Now that I've gotten that out of my system I'd love to tell you about my favorite childhood book.  I'm sure there were others I really loved like The Last Unicorn, several from The Babysitters Club, Animorphs, and Nancy Drew series, but the book that comes to mind is Black Beauty.


My Dad gave me Black Beauty for Valentine's Day one year.  I remember sitting down at our kitchen table for my traditional bowl of oatmeal and waiting for me was a card from my Dad, the book, and a small box of chocolates from both of my parents.  My Dad wrote something sweet in the cover which I wish I could write here now, but it's tucked in a box somewhere since of course I couldn't get rid of it.

I remember feeling so special to have been given a book that had a personal message in it for me.  I remember reading and rereading that book so many times, cherishing it more and more each time.  It's a classic, and why my Dad picked it for me I'm not sure.  I should probably ask him. :)  might make for a fun conversation.  I bet he doesn't know that it touched me so much and now hold the spot as my favorite childhood book.  It's also probably time for me to reread that story!  It's been too too long.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend evening my friends and if you so feel inclined comment below.  I'd love to walk down memory lane with you!

 What was your favorite childhood book?  What made it special?

{Time Trails & Favorite Foods}

Happy Saturday, friends!

I hope you're enjoying your Saturday as much as I have been enjoying mine!  We got to sleep in which was absolutely amazing, then I got up, grabbed a cup of coffee and spent some quiet time with the LORD.  Since January 1st I haven't missed a day of quiet time yet and I think it's really making a difference in my days. :)  I can't wait to see what the LORD has in store for Ryan and me this year.

After coffee, quiet time, and a bowl of Captain Crunch while watching Bar Rescue, I headed to the pool for my first time trial of 1000 meters.  I've been swimming a lot more than 1000 meters on a regular basis, but I've never done a time trial so I wasn't totally sure what to expect.  My workout plan said to do a short warm up, but on the actual day of my race I don't know if I'll get to warm up/will want to in the water, so I just went for it cold.

I had to share a lane since the pool was surprisingly popular at 1:00 when I walked in.  As it was the farthest lane over I didn't mind since they make the first and last lanes a little larger so folks can share them more easily.  I told the lady I wouldn't be there long to which she replied her also, and about 10 laps in I noticed she wasn't swimming alongside me anymore.  I sure hope I didn't scare her off or bother her!  It's not too fun to share lanes, but I try to be really respectful of my other swimmer's portion of the lane.

I finished my time trial in 16:40 which left me feeling really good.  I even sprinted the last 50, though I'm thinking I probably should have tried to sprint the last 100.  I didn't really know what to be aiming for on my time trial, but Papa McD said I did well.  My time puts me at about a 1:40 100 which he suggests I should cut down to a 1:30 which he thinks I can and have plenty of time to do.

The only workouts I have remaining this weekend is a 1 hour run tomorrow which I'm so looking forward to since the weather is stunning today and is supposed to be even better tomorrow.  Sounds like a White Rock Lake day run to me!  Other than my run I have a 1000 something meter recovery swim I missed on Wednesday.  Looking forward to an easy Sunday before a busy training week.

After my swim, Ryan and I took the border collies on a long walk since they were cooped up about 3 days this week because of the rain.  They were in heaven and are now napping.  Sweet babies.  I'm watching the Olympic figure skating trials to see who will make the team and who I need to cheer for the Olympic season!  I can't wait!

In keeping with my blogging challenge, my top 10 favorite foods are listed below.  These are in no particular order because I'm not sure I can commit to a favorite food, surprise surprise.

1) Guacamole
2) Nutella - on anything, or just by the spoonful... not ashamed. :)
3) Bob Armstrong Dip - NOM
4) Khao Soi - especially from Banana Leaf
5) Eggs - scrambled, hard boiled, over easy, omelette, over medium, sunny side up, deviled, salad - you name it, I probably love it.  MMMMM eggs.
6) Bananas - I eat one almost daily in my morning oatmeal
7) Cereal - I would probably eat this weekly for dinner if Ryan would let us
8) Mac & Cheese - comfort food perfection
9) Bacon - who doesn't love a good piece, or 7, of bacon
10) Baked ziti - from Besa's of course

What are your favorite foods?  How are you spending your weekend? :)   I hope each of you enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

{The Trip of a Lifetime}

When I think of the best trip I have ever been on, I smile thinking about the fact that picking just one will be so hard for me.  I am blessed to have been on so many amazing trips, most of them with family, several overseas, some with my handsome husband, and others with my best friends.

My family pretty much went on a summer vacation almost yearly since I can remember.  It was generally somewhere sunny and beachy... just my kinda vacation!  Family vacations guarantee two things.  One, that you are going to be laughing from sunrise to sundown and two, that there will be games and we will all have fun!  My fondest memories have been on family vacations from the time my sister brought a hermit crab back from Destin that fell out in the car when we hit a bump, then later got "lost" in her room and died, to the trips to Baton Rouge to see my Memaw and Pop, seeing Christen & Tony get married in Oregon, to the game playing and frivolity and love shared by family, they are simply the best kinds of trips.

My favorite family vacation was one where we went to Cozumel to celebrate my cousin's wedding.  This was the first trip Ryan went on with my family, and it was amazing!  Abundant laughter, dancing, beach time, snorkeling, ATVing, ziplining, cenote diving, alcoholic beverages, beach, sand, family, amazing.  So freaking funny, and such good memories.  McD family, I love you so much!

We look so stinking young!

In middle school my mom and I went on the school's Europe Trip during my 7th and 8th grade years.  It was really cool because my talented and gifted group would study the places we were going to visit during the school's spring break.  We would study the culture, the artists of the time, the history, watch movies, it was awesome.  The year of my 7th grade trip was a massive group, like 3 tour busses full of middle school kids, staff, and parents.  The year of my 8th grade was much more intimate with maybe only 30 of us traveling total since the head teacher for the group left that year.  In total we went to Rome, Venice, Paris, London, Milan, Athens, Delphi, Amsterdam, and I'm sure I'm missing some...  I wish I had been less preoccupied with middle school girl nonsense to really full appreciate what I was experiencing, but I wouldn't take it back for anything.

Then there were the spring break trips in college.  Ryan and I went to visit Brittany at Pepperdine my sophomore, Ryan's junior year.  That was a trip I will never forget.  Everything that could have gone wrong when we got there did in fact go wrong and then some.  It was hysterical.  Making it past the first day was exhausting to say the least, but looking back I cannot help but laugh and sigh.  What a trip.

My senior year I went on an island cruise with some senior Chi Os.  What a blast!  So many inside jokes we made on the trip, so much laughter, so much karaoke, getting stuck on the boat for an extra day, man it was a great trip!  Love those girls so much.

Then come my two favorite trips since graduating college: visiting Paige in Madrid, Spain and honeymooning with Ryan in Belize.

Paige moved to Madrid, Spain shortly after we graduated from Baylor to teach english at a school over there.  What a neat opportunity!  She had a blog and I would catch her on Skype periodically, but when I threw out the idea of coming to visit she totally agreed!  I picked a random week in March because flight deals were good and because the week after I visited was semana santa which is holy week and kind of like their spring break and her family was coming to visit.

It was the first big trip I took alone, and I had to navigate my way from the airport to her apartment via the metro system and have one of her roommates let me in her apartment when I got there.  That was a little intimidating, but Paige is an awesome direction giver, and the metro system in Madrid is super safe and easy to navigate even for a tourist, and I made it with minimal hangups.

Paige had to work in the morning/early afternoon, but only for three days while I was there and on the day I left which worked out just fine!  I would ride the metro by myself and go to a museum or palace and work my way around the museums in Spain.  Paige and I would meet up for lunch, or she would meet up with me wherever I was after she was done with school which was usually early afternoon.  Since Spanish folks have siesta there was always plenty of time to meet up during lunch or with others later since Spaniards stay up later as a result of the siesta.

I met lots of Paige's Spanish friends and we had an absolute blast!  I learned about the wonders of delicious tapas and tinto de verano (which is red wine and lemon Fanta since they're Fanta is a little less carbonated than ours here), Spanish culture, that the metro is not a scary thing and it was easy to navigate on my own, and even more about why Paige is one of my besties!  Te Amo, EspaƱa.

Then I married this handsome stud named Ryan, and we went on the best trip ever together to a place called Belize where we celebrated being united as Newly Nabors.  It was absolute paradise, our hotel was amazing, and despite spending one day under the weather with a stomach bug, it was everything I dreamed it would be.  We ziplined, cave tubed, listened to howler monkeys, went on a death hike also known as climbed a waterfall (totally worth it by the way even though I was a baby), kayaked in the ocean, had dinner at sunset on the beach, and lounged around in love.  Ahhh, heavenly.  We'll be back, you better Belize it.  Okay, that was cheesy, but I had to.

What's your favorite trip you've ever taken?

{Goals are Good}

Oops I did it again. I played with your heart. Got lost in the game.

Yeah, I'm sorry y'all.  Yesterday was so unbelievably busy.  I even had to move my workouts around to other days this week in order to get them in.  It was a good busy that started with breakfast with my Dad and seester before she headed back to escuela, celebrated birthdays at the office during lunch, and ended with serving another night at Scottish Rite hanging out with awesome kiddos.

[Sidenote: Not sure if I've blogged about my first night volunteering there where I got to make the famous Scottish Rite hospital popcorn or not, but that was my first experience during their Christmas Tree Lighting.  I hadn't been able to make it back since then due to our holidays landing on primarily Wednesdays this year and since that's my volunteering day yesterday was my second time to volunteer and first night of a normal schedule!  I am in love.  It doesn't get much better than hanging out with kiddos, getting to know them, hearing their stories, and laughter.  Lots of laughter.  It warms my soul.  Ahhhh.]

Since I'm obviously doing double duty today with my blogging challenege let's begin.  Yesterday I was supposed to write about my 5 current goals.  If you've been tracking with me for a while now I think you know my big goal, but let's have a go anyway.

1) Train for and compete in, and COMPLETE the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 on April 6th.
2) Read the whole Bible this year.  I'm currently following St. Andrew's United Methodist Church's guide for reading the Bible in a year and haven't missed yet.  Woot!
3) Be slower to speak and quicker to listen.
4) Love my husband well and be respectful in my words and deeds.
5) Pray more.

I don't really feel like these need a ton of explanation and I talk about most of these things on a regular basis, so I'll only hit on one.  Pray more.  I've made this a current goal because I want to lift up my concerns and joys to the LORD in the morning.  I read in my study Bible one morning that there is so much scripture about going away and being with the LORD in the morning because your mind is fresh, you haven't had the distractions of the world weigh you down yet, and you're mind is less likely to have gotten overly concerned about the happenings of the day yet.

I have also been writing down my prayer requests, my promises I've made to people when they've asked me to pray for them, and it's really helping.  I like going through the list and naming everything on it as opposed to just summing everything up all together.  Try it. :)

Today's challenge is regarindg what's currently in my bag!

In my wonderful crossbody coach purse I'm carrying the following:
- Coach wallet/clutch
- Scull and crossbones coin perse
- 2 pens
- EOS Lipbalm in Honeysuckle Honeydew
- My personalized Maybook - best planner ever!
- Several random receipts
- Triathlon training note for the day
- Orbit Wintermint Gum - best flavor ever
- iPhone 5s
- all the usuals girls carry around

&&& that's about it!

Tomorrow is Friday.  YAY!

{5 Favorite Songs}

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Seems like just about everyone is experiencing some chilly weather, so may your thoughts be on warm things and your core warmed with a warm coffee treat.  That's my preferred method of staying warm, personally.  Can I get an AMEN!  Who doesn't love a good Starbucks, or any warm coffee brand (I'm not picky!), treat?  OOH!  If you ever want something new to try, get this bad boy: Grande Soy White Mocha with 2 pumps Skinny Cinnamon Dolce.  #heaven  -- someone posted it on Facebook once and I had to try it.  Boy am I glad I did!!!  Seester loves it too. :)


In keeping up with the challenge, today I'll share my 5 favorite songs with you!

1) "Fall" by Clay Walker
This is our song.  Ryan first played this song for me one night when we first started dating.  That semester I had decided to try my hand at being a Physical Therapy major and was taking a slew of science classes.  Needless to say, I was not diligent enough in the studying area to cut it as a science student.  Boy, do I wish I had now since I could have done nursing or even something with cancer kids had I stuck out the science.  Ryan played it one night while we were studying at his apartment.  I've never been good at studying to music so it was a little distracting, but Ryan played it because I was getting so frustrated with the information and he said it reminded him of me.  From that day forward it became our song.

It is the song Ryan played the night he told me he loved me.  I will never forget that night, that's for sure.  We were at Chi Omega's Christmas in Salado walking around the cute little town of Salado that was all dolled up for Christmas.  When we were on our way back to the barn where our dance was being held Ryan stopped me and said some sweet things that ended with "I love you".  #bliss

We also danced to it, partially, at our wedding.  It is our song, and I love it.

2) "Drive" by Alan Jackson
This is Papa McD's and my song.  Since the moment we heard it driving a dusty, country back road, we knew.  In fact, there's a really good likelihood that he was even letting me drive.  He tended to do that when we were out hunting together.  There was no traffic, we were on back roads, I was potentially between the ages of 10 and 12 the first couple of times I drove, but it was Dad and Taylor time.  There's nothing like it, and there are few memories fonder to me than hunting with my Dad.  We were invincible.

We danced to this at my wedding.  Duh.  I'm sure you saw that coming.  During the last few weeks before the wedding, my Dad could be found sitting in his truck listening to this song.  A few times I even climbed in the truck and listened with him, sharing those tender father-daughter moments together.  He's such a good man.  I am such a lucky girl.  Thank you LORD for blessing me with such a loving Dad.  There's no one like him.

3) "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da" by The Beatles
This song is so happy!!!

Mama McD loves The Beatles.  Thus, as seester and I grew up we developed strong affections for The Beatles as well.  I can't count the number of times Mama McD would quiz us in the car as to who was singing, what Beatle it was, and so on and so fourth.  I could have picked any Beatles song since I love pretty much all of them, but this one I grew to love while in college.

We got Mama McD Beatles RockBand and spent hours playing through the songs and singing along.  I think I had heard this goodie on the radio at some point before, but playing it so many times on RockBand made my fondness for it grow.  This song reminds me of good times with my family crowded around the TV playing silly RockBand.  I waffled between this song and Octopus' Garden since we loved to sing that one too.  Both happy, both weird, both Beatles.

Then, during a birthday celebration for Brittany, Papa Nabors asked us all to go around and share what end credit song would play if they made a movie about our life.  I had to pick this one.  It's fun and happy, and I can't help but bounce when it's on.

4) "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder
This is a new favorite for me.  Mama and Papa McD picked this song to play while pictures from my childhood scrolled by on the screen during our rehearsal dinner slideshow.  It struck a chord with me and when I hear it I can't help but tear up.  It's weird that moment you realize your parents love for you, and your love for them, is so great it's unfathomable.  I've always known we love one another deeply, but this song just did me in.

5) "Compass" by Lady Antebellum or "We Were Us" by Keith Urban ft. Miranda Lambert
I thought I should throw something current in there.  I'm a sucker for anything catchy, lighthearted, and happy!  I play these songs almost every day, if not multiple times in the day as soon as I turn on my Spotify.  I fell in love with both of these songs immediately.  I wanted to soak up and memorize the lyrics, the happiness, joy, sunshine they embodied and I did.  I guess that happens when you listed to them on repeat.

So, there you are friends!  I hope these songs have brought a warm smile to your faces and that you yourselves stay warm on this chilly Tuesday.

What are your Top 5 Favorite songs?

{Don't Close Your Eyes, Don't Be Afraid}

Ahh, another season of The Bachelor is underway!  I can't wait to read Lincee Ray's blog at I Hate Green Beans for her hilarious recap tomorrow!  Y'all should check her out. :)

Today's post is on what I'm afraid of... which is pretty typical girl fears like snakes, the dark, getting attacked, spiders, basically anything creepy crawly, having someone jump out and scare me, being grabbed by my feet from under the bed (yes, totally reasonable right?), having one of my puppies get hurt or taken from me, having Ryan get hurt or taken from me, and having anything bad happen to my family.

Unfortunately, I don't really have a whole lot else to say on the topic though, so I thought I'd update y'all a little on my triathlon training!  After Christmas break I dragged my feet a bit and found it a little harder to get motivated despite all the productivity I had experienced before Christmas.  I've found that if I don't start my day being super productive, it's a lot harder for me to get going and be overly productive.

Last week was pretty good on the workouts, but I have yet to complete 2 weeks in a row of making all my scheduled workouts.  I've really got to get better about that!!  I have told myself now, with 89 days left, there's really not time to skimp.  I know there are days ahead where I could get sick, where something comes between me and my workouts, and I'll have to work hard to be diligent in getting my workouts in even when I'd rather go to lunch with friends or do something fun.  I want to be as prepared as I possibly can for this race and finish with my hands held high above my head because I finished and don't feel completely worn out.

This weekend was so windy and cold that it was hard to be motivated to get out there and get my workouts done.  I took my hour and a half run to the treadmill dreadmill despite the fact that I'd rather do anything but run on the treadmill especially for long miles.  But it was cold, and I'm a wuss.  I am proud I got the miles in, but I hope to only have a few more of my long runs there.

This week is recovery week, and I enjoyed an easy 30 minute run on the treadmill today.  It's 18 degrees outside here in the Lone Star State, and I wasn't about to run my happy little 30 minutes outside.  No ma'am.  Not today.  I'm looking forward to a week of easy workouts, rest, and renewed zeal for training.  Don't interpret that as I am tired of training, because that would absolutely not be true.  This is the most fun I've had training for something in a long time.  I'm tired, but I'm also pushing myself hard, and liking what I'm accomplishing, and I think that's something to be proud of!

Sorry this wasn't exactly a post about what I'm afraid of.  I guess I'll end with this.  I'm afraid I won't finish my Half Ironman.

Through prayer, diligence to my training, preparedness, and faith in myself I know that fear won't become a reality!

{Catching Up... Oops!}

Wow, all that cheering I did on Friday for posting 3 days in a row was a big, fat fail!  This weekend has been so busy!  I guess I could have slept a little less, but I'm a firm believer in your body telling you to rest.  I have felt so tired lately, and people all over our office have been sick, so I have been doubling up on Vitamin C intake and rest!

If I were going to do a weekend recap I really wouldn't have much to say other than I saw sleep, eat, run, shoot, nap, eat, snuggle with border collies and my sweet husband.  Friday I got to see my bestie Paige and her cute apartment in Agg Town.  We spent a long time there catching up.  Time with her is my absolute favorite.  That night I snuggled the border collies since Ryan was at the lake shooting prepping for an IDPA competition in the morning.  I ended up sleeping way, way, way in despite my efforts to get up and meet up with my community group girls (#FAIL!).  After my devotional I went shooting with my Dad, then ran 8 miles on the dreadmill since it's been so windy all weekend.  By the time I got done running it was time for the slumber party with my Mom and seester since my seester is going back to CSTAT this week.  This morning I went to church with my handsome hubs, we had lunch, and then we took a 2 hourish nap.  It was glorious!  As my legs have been pretty tight today I did a whole lot of squat today.  And yep... that's my weekend in a nutshell.  I know, big plans over here!

Okay, so let's get back to where I, you know, didn't blog yesterday and it's now 11:02 and I'm writing my blog for today.  Whomp, whomp.  Did I mention I did a lot of sleeping and running around today?  Okay, good!

Day 4) Dream Job

Alrighty, so I have forever and a day wanted to be a dolphin or Shamu trainer.  I think I always favored the dolphins because they're ridiculously smart and not nearly as large and Shamu who tends to have wild hairs and ends up killing a few trainers here and there.  I know there's risk with working with animals, and even though humans can develop loving feelings towards animals, wild animals are still wild animals.  Either way, I would highly enjoy being a dolphin trainer.  Turns out, you don't necessarily have to have a marine biology degree either!  So... maybe I'll start looking to do that. ;)

I do have to say though, that after working with Make-A-Wish and realizing my passion for serving kiddos with cancer, and their families, I would 100% love to be a Child Life Specialist.  I actually looked at going back to school to get my Masters in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Child Life, but who knew school was so expensive... said no one ever.  Everyone and their friend that lives under a rock knows school is expensive, and for the NewlyNabors piling on loads of debt just isn't in the cards for us now, especially after going through Financial Peace University.  So, for now I'll see what the LORD is calling me to do, and who knows maybe that's have some Flipper friends or love on some cancer kiddos in a different capacity.

Day 5) Proudest Moment

Hmmm... when I think of proudest moment, there are many to choose from.  School accomplishments always made me feel really good when I could tell my parents how proud of me they ought to be that I actually did make top 10%, or earned a spot in an honor society.  Completing big goals for me has always made me feel very proud whether it was completing a half marathon, my first sprint triathlon, making good grades, or landing my first job.

Nothing makes me prouder than proclaiming to the world that I am a Christian.  Being a Christian is my new identity.  When I made that choice for myself, it was a proud moment getting to tell my friends, Young Life leaders, and fellow campers that I had made the decision.  Even prouder was the moment when I got to go home and tell my parents the good news!

I also feel really proud when I tell people I am married to Ryan.  I know that's cheesy, but I mean it.  I am incredibly proud of my husband.  I can't wait for my coworkers to meet him, to take him to parties, to introduce him to friends, and on and on.

So, there we are!  Hopefully I've made up for the lack of posting by winning you over with my charm and wit.  Just kidding.  If I'm going to try to make it to my spin class at 6:00 am then I'm going to need to have gone to bed 30 minutes ago if not more.  Goodnight friends!

{Don't Quote Me On That}

Woohoo!!!  I've blogged the first three whole days of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.  It's nice having preconceived topics to write about it. :)  30 Day Blogging Challenge, I like you.

Indecisiveness strikes again and I cannot pick just one quote.  I picked two, forgive me.  They're goodies though, I promise.

I love this quote.  It hits the heart of commitment, of being united that matter, that the Bible talks about.  Too many people get divorced and call it quits when their kids are grown, or their common interests aren't so common anymore, or when they fall out of love, or because they haven't invested in one another along the way.

I'm sorry, but falling out of love is a huge cop out.  When I hear that, all I want to do is rip my hair out.  By saying you're just not in love anymore translates to me, it's too hard, I'm not willing to put in the work, and I'm going to put God in a box because I don't believe He, or anyone else, can make me feel the love I had for my husband ever again.  I'd rather start over and over and over and over and over.

"I have found the one whom my soul loves." - Song of Solomon 3:4  It's deeper than surface level, fairy tale love.  He doesn't need to be my perfect Prince Charming, sweeping me off my feet daily, for me to love him.  Our roots are entwined, and they will continue to become more tangled together as we grow as one flesh.

"Do not expect perfection from each other, perfection belongs solely to God.  You need not minimize each other's weaknesses, but always be swift to praise and magnify each other's points of strength and see each other through kind and patient eyes."

This quote was read at our wedding.  It and the one above can kind of piggyback off one another.  I found it through a girl I worked with at Kanakuk who had had it read at her wedding.  I immediately fell in love with the quote.  What sweet words, what true words.  What great truth I need to be reminded of every day.  I love you Ry.  I am proud of the man you are, the man you've always been, and the man you will become.

So, those are my favorite quotes!!  I hope you enjoyed!  It's Friday y'all - thank goodness!

{That's a Fact... or 20}

Happy 2nd of January friends!

I'm loving seeing blog posts about New Year's Resolutions, monthly goals, things they hope to accomplish next year, DIYs, etc.  Keep them coming! :)  Kelsie at Running A Thousand Miles broke her goals for the year into monthly ones to keep them fresh and exciting.  Maybe I should do that.  Sure seems like a much more attainable way to get things accomplished!  I did briefly mention the things I'm looking forward to in 2014 here, but I think I'm going to break them into months like she did, too!

In sticking with my first goal for the month of January, today is the second day of my 30 day blogging challenge.  Feel free to join in on the fun if you're interested.  Yesterday I told you where NewlyNabors came from.  Today it's time to learn 20 facts about me (and maybe the NewlyNabors as a couple)!

1. I go by my middle name, Taylor.  Always have, and that was always the plan so say Mama and Papa McD.  In fact, I was going to be Taylor whether or not I was a boy or girl!

2. My Dad completed the Ironman in Kona before I was born.  He's an athletic stud, and I'd like to thank him for my athleticism, drive, and goal setting.  (Sorry Mama McD, you gave me lots of wonderful traits, but I think most of my athleticism is from Papa McD.)

3. My favorite color is glitter, or blue, or yellow, but maybe glitter.  Haha, just kidding.  I do love sparkles, but I think blue or yellow would be my favorite colors since they're happy!  I really love any color that's bright and happy.

4. I am Texas born and raised, and have never lived in another state. The stars at night are big and bright, DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS!

5. I am a passionate believer in Jesus Christ my Savior!  I am thankful that my loving Father sent His son to die for my sins.  Grace abounds, y'all.  Feel free to ask me about my sweet Jesus anytime!

6. I love to doodle!  On everything, anything, and all in between.  Whether it's typography, flowers, swirls or the like I doodle as often as I can.  I often doodle my quiet time with the LORD as well.  Try it sometime!

7. I am obsessed with Lululemon Run Inspire Crops.  They are heaven in pants.  Hands down the most comfortable piece of workout gear or clothing I have.  I have 3 pairs of Run Inspire Crops and 1 pair of Wunder Under crops (Special thanks to Mama McD and Twink for adding to my collection of Lululemon this Christmas!!).  Sadly, I still have to ration my wearing of the crops otherwise I'm doing crop laundry every other day.  If we won the lottery I would buy at least 10 pair more so I wouldn't have to be so stingy with rationing them.

I'm also fairly certain they make me faster.  So does neon.

8. I am a proud Baylor University alumni!  Though our debut at the Fiesta Bowl was not, I'm sure, what any of us hoped for I am proud of the season Baylor had!  SIC'EM BEARS!

9. My favorite shoes are my cowboy boots.  I have this cute little pair of simple brown boots that have been resoled two or three times now, and are the comfiest shoes I own.  (However, my new pair of Uggs might be in the running for comfiest pair of shoes now...)  I also have a pair of black boots that are finally broken in after several years of getting blisters and sliding around.  Breaking in a pair of boots is somewhat of a right of passage, but when they're finally broken in they're sweet as can be.

10. I am a fruit fanatic.  Bananas, kiwi, watermelon, mangoes (except they're tricky to peel without making a huge mess!), strawberries, grapes, raspberries, recently blackberries (if they aren't tart), apple, oranges, honeydew, cantaloupe, and on and on.  Oh, and add some delicious Nutella for dipping and I'd never eat another thing.  I think I could survive on a mostly fruit diet, and though I don't particularly care to I could definitely up my intake of fruit.  It's the dang cutting, peeling, nonsense I don't always want to do.  #lazy

11. 10 Things I Hate About You is potentially my favorite movie.  I have a hard time nailing down favorite things as you can see above with the color selection, but this is definitely a top 3 selection.  This film was based on Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew" and won my heart immediately.  So witty, so clever, so still my favorite.  "I know you can be overwhelmed, and I know you can be underwhelmed, but can you just be whelmed?"  Heath Ledger can sing "I love you baby" to me anytime!  Oh, wait... he can't.  Moving on...

"I hate the way that you're not around, and the fact that you didn't call.  But mostly I hate the way I don't hate you, not even a little bit, not even at all."

12. Besa's baked ziti is the best baked ziti on the face of the planet.  No one does it like they do.  Wow, I'm drooling as I write this.  #obsessed

13. I have become quite a fan of dipping sauces since dating and marrying my handsome husband.  I used to spit on dipping sauces that weren't gravy or ketchup, but since have opened myself up to love things like Cane's sauce, ranch as a dipping option (especially when dipping Chili's chips and salsa!), In 'N Out's animal style sauce, and on and on.

14. I have also learned to like spicier foods in the past 6 years of being with Ryan.  What can I say?  He brings out the best in me? :)  In general, Ryan has helped me open up to trying lots of new things.  I don't think I ever would have tried curry and then I would be missing out on one of my favorite Thai dishes Khao Soi!  This year I also tried Indian food.  Never thought I'd do that!

15. If adult competitive cheerleading was less expensive I would do competitive cheerleading as a hobby.  That's right... 25 is not too old to be flipping, stunting, jumping, tumbling, cheering.  I don't care what you say.  I love it.  Oh, how I wish I had cheered in college.

16. I do not like mustard.  At all.  Not even a little bit.  Unless it's hardly noticeable like in deviled eggs, or other things with minimal mustard that I like. :)

17. Marrying my best friend has proved to be the best decision of my entire life.  Obviously.  He's athletic, smart, a Godly man, and did I mention he's hot?

18. I got my rook pierced in Spain with my best friend who was living there at the time.  It hurt like the friggin' devil, and there's a very real possibility I had to lay down in the piercing parlor because I got lightheaded and thought I might pass out, while my redheaded friend tried to explain in Spanish that I was fine and just feeling light headed.  #wuss  Mine rejected from poor placement on my part, poohoohoo, but she still has hers and it's sweet.  Next piercing?  Ryan's probably rolling his eyes reading this.

Just looking at this picture makes me cringe.  Ouch it hurt!

19. Training for this triathlon, among other things I have trained for, remind me that your "breaking point" doesn't have to be your breaking point.  This is most often revealed to me through encouragement from others.  Tonight at spin we were doing some really tough intervals.  The trainer, Ben, is training for an Ironman this year and was talking about it before class, so I told him I was training for the Half in Galveston.  Well, naturally, he worked with me the whole time.  I was the newbee in class AND I had told him I was training for that.  Having been a race he did first in 2011 he pushed me.

During the intervals I thought about quitting.  Really, really thought about quitting.  They sucked.  Ben talked to me during the intervals about what I had for lunch, who I was training with, was it my first triahtlon, etc.  In the past I've had coaches use this as a distraction for me taking my focus off of how much what I'm doing currently sucks and pushing through.  Naturally, I thought this is what he was doing to me.  Turns out I was supposed to be working so hard I couldn't talk.  Don't for one second think I was just rambling on and on and on about this, that, and the other (I was definitely gulping for air), but again I thought it was the distract technique.  Next time I'll be ready. :)

But, back on track, I'd like to take what I was reminded of and use these techniques when I'm training alone.  If a hill is getting me down, I hope I am able to enjoy my scenery, say a prayer, sing to myself, anything but focus on the temporary lack of enjoyment I'm experiencing.

Have any techniques I can use?  Let me know below.

20. My verse for this year is Psalm 143:10 which says:

I am genuinely open to whatever the LORD has planned for me this year.  In past years I have tried to control so much of my future that I don't think I've been fully listening to the LORD.  This year I want to know that each of my steps are part of His plan for me, and for Ryan.

At our wedding we read Ruth 1:16.

This year I want to live it.  Where Ryan goes, I will go.  Where the LORD calls us, I will go.  His people are our people.  I can't wait to see what this year brings!

What's your verse this year?  What are you excited to see, do, experience, live?

Have a wonderful Thursday night!  Ryan and I are off to enjoy this delicious meal.  Hope it's as good as the picture looks!

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