Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sore Muscles & Weekend Events

Man - I am beyond sore today! Like day 3 of being sore.... Spartan essentially handed me ass on Tuesday night.  Who knew 27 minutes at 8 different stations would have this kind of impact! Ouchie! 

But in other news, this past weekend Isaac & I had a very lovely time together.  Probably one of the more fun, relaxed weekends we've had together in a while.  Sure there were plans and places to be.  But the days weren't planned in such a way where we felt like we had to run from one thing to the next.  We both started our mornings out nicely - he played golf with a buddy & I slept in til Spartan & then got ready.  Afterwards we made our way north, stopped at a Hawaiian plate lunch spot we discovered & then moseyed over to the Nike Employee Store!  You want to take heaven - that right there is heaven.  Honey Isaac & I specifically set aside some funds from our tax return this year to make a trip to the ES - and my sweet husband basically told me all he wanted were two pairs of shoes (one for this season) and a new belt -- but the rest of the money could be used for new shoes & work out gear for me.  Why might he do this you might be wondering?  Because he has been so proud of my commitment to getting my butt to the gym (ala Spartan & running!) and wanted to be a part of supporting that.  *insert hearts & swoons*  He knows me well.  I do have to say I loved the shoes I got.  But was a little underwhelmed overall with the options for running gear.  Not sure if they're just in a transition or what.  Generally speaking I did score some great items and for that I am thankful.  
Afterwards we met up with Isaac's college buddy who works at Nike & he gave us a tour of his office & the Nike campus.  Have to admit - growing up in OR my entire life, I had never once stepped foot on the Nike campus prior to this day.  It's a pretty set up & it was also pretty cool to drive by parking spots for Nolan Ryan, LeBron James, etc.
What was on the docket next was our local high school all star game - a weekend in the spring/summer/fall just would not be complete without some football in the mix!  Isaac had a couple of players from his previous high school playing so he wanted to show support.  I can't wait for the day when I know my honey is coaching those types of games! It'll be any time...I just know it! :)
And finally we made our way from deep west Portland Metro to deep east to pick up my mom from the airport.  We had some time to kill so totally stopped at Red Robin for happy hour fries & apps.  Delicious.  

Like I said - lots of fun things, but nothing that kept us to a specific time table.  It was such an enjoyable day.  Followed the next day by a fun morning/afternoon with my family going wine tasting.  And of course, wine tasting in West Salem just wouldn't be complete without a pitstop to Walery's for some taco pizza!  My family is classy like that!

There were just so many moments in those 48hours when I had to stop myself and just soak in the goodness.  Appreciate the gentle love given by Isaac.  Appreciate his accomplishments & how he strives to be a better coach & man each day.  And appreciate my family - appreciate my mom's willingness to spend 9 days in Mexico just loving on kids & her excitement to share that with us from the second we picked her up. 

These are the kind of weekends I live for and tuck away to go back to on those rainy, dreary days.  What about you??

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My Wedding Day

While picking my brain as to what to write - I came across one of my favorite blogger's page today & she's partnering in hosting a pretty fun link up.  So why not join in?!  Thanks to Holly of Where We Can Live Like Jack & Sally  for the super fun link up!


So without further wedding day! And in advance, there are quite a few photos (some courtesy of my awesome photographer, but most of these are from our dear friend MaryGene, who is quite the photog herself!) - but mostly because I just loved my wedding day so much!

Well, after about a year & half of dating my Honey Isaac proposed to me in Plam Springs as a TOTAL surprise...I'm pretty good at finding out information, but he did a fantastic job keeping it a big secret.  We got married on 07/24/09 -- why did I pick this day?  Well, honestly, marrying a football coach I got my first taste of the time constraints associated with the new lifestyle of mine.  My options, working around camps & workouts, were the 4th of July or the 24th (which would lead us right in to "dead week" for our honeymoon).  Not wanting to infringe on others' holiday - I opted for the 24th. 

Alright here are the details!
Location -- my Mom & I found this beautiful venue in the hills about 20 minutes from my house.  The Willamette Valley here in Oregon is pretty well known for some killer wines, particularly our Pinot Noirs.  We were married at a vineyard called Zenith Vineyards in West Salem. It was the first place we looked at, it had an amazing bridal suite (a priority for me - since I planned on getting ready onsite!), and the views of the surrounding hills & vineyards were breathtaking.  My mom, who isn't like a glitter & butterflies mom when it comes to weddings, simply asked me if we needed to go anywhere else -- I of course said NO!  Funny part of this mom put down the deposit for this place approximately 2 months before Isaac & I were engaged! So I knew something was up! Ha!
(courtesy of Vibrant Table)
The other benefit of Zenith -- they had the most fantastic catering company available.  Without question they were one of the highlights of our whole event.  I had the best coordinator who took care of everything, the food was beyond amazing, & the service they provided for our friends & family was unparalleled.  Even my mom was impressed!
 Bridal Party -- My uber popular husband wanted to have like 8-10 people in our wedding parties.  I quickly shot this down, and told him he could have 3 groomsmen, and 4 ushers.  I had my niece be a junior bridesmaid, 2 bridesmaids & my younger brother was my "Gentleman of Honor."  This is something I SO thankful I did -- friendships come & go, but family is forever.  I am thankful my little brother stood beside me on that day as my #1 go to.  And it worked out well for the recessional - since we had my brother & Isaac's best man/brother both escort my niece & the rest of the party was good to go.  I had a makeup artist/hair stylist come to the venue that day & she did the girls' hair so they looked awesome & I let them each pick out their own dresses (to honor their different body types & tastes) but they had to be chocolate brown/short. I think they turned out pretty good looking! We also had Isaac's little cousin be the lei bearer, my little cousin be our ring bearer, & our friend's sweet daughter be our flower girl.  All 3 kiddos were 4 at the time & were just so stinking cute! Isaac's cousin & our friend's daughter held hands all the way down the stairs to the ceremony site & down the entire aisle! It was precious!

Colors -- Our colors were chocolate brown, ivory, and a sort of muted light blue (think light blue hydrangeas).  Loved it.  Clean, classic & flattering.
Here are some photos from our ceremony:

 First Dance -- Isaac & I danced our first dance together to a song his Nana recorded.  She passed away about 10 years ago now, but she was a singer in Hawaii in the 60's & 70's - and had recorded this beautiful song "Misty Rains & Lehua" with her cousin's band.  It is seriously one of the most beautiful songs & I'm so thankful we could include her in our wedding.  We tried to add as many Hawaiian touches as possible to honor Isaac's heritage & family.  I know his Dad was tearing up while we danced.  Seriously -- go to iTunes & listen to it. It's gorgeous.  
During our first dance

Reception (I'm adding this one!) -- LOVED our reception.  Our DJ was amazing, the food was amazing, we spent a lot of time going around & seeing people.  We had people flying in from Hawaii, DC, Indianapolis, California, & Washington - so we wanted to say hello to everyone.  Our caked was phenomenal - I still go to our cake lady any time I need something special!  The toasts were amazing.  Father/Daughter & Mother/Son dances were great -- Dad & I danced to "I loved her first" & I forget what Isaac & Sheila danced too....whoops! My family danced like lunatics (expected) and my friend Morgan may or may not have shoved someone to grab my toss bouquet! It was a beautiful, tasteful, classy night - complete with good friends & family, great food & wine, and lots of love!
Our cake -- top tier: champagne cake w/ guava mousse.
And the cake topper: My grandparents used this when they got married in 1946. It has an iridescent feel to it, so I asked my cake lady to try & mimic that in the ribbon (which are pleated to match some pleats there were in the side of my dress).  It was such a joy to share this piece with my grandparents. 
 Oh, just my Swarovski encrusted wedding shoes....LOVE LOVE LOVE them! And have TOTALLY worn them since!
 Showing off the shoes again...Ha
 Me & my honey - in our leis (mine is pikake or jasmine for non-Hawaiians)
And our Swarovski champagne flutes.
My mom's saying thru the whole planning process: "Every girl needs glitz!"

Honeymoon -- After leaving the venue, we spent two nights at a nicer hotel in town. I HIGHLY recommend this to all my friends! We spent the next day just resting and laying low. And didn't head out to Hawaii until Sunday morning.  We then got to spend 6 beautiful days on Kauai.  It has easily become my most favorite islands. So peaceful & calm.
And to top it off - after our days in Kauai, we hopped over to O'ahu for our Hawaii party.  Isaac's Dad hosted this party for us so we could celebrate with all of Isaac's family & friends.  Let's just say it was nearly larger than our actual wedding.  Well there were certainly more people that's for sure! But it was so fun to see everyone, and basically have a whole other celebration!  Isaac's family gave us a such a gift in that party.  His aunty was amazing!  And we were SO thankful for one of his HS YoungLife leaders, Charmaine, who essentially was the party planner for the whole event.  We celebrated at the old Dole Cannery Ballroom.  Had great music. GREAT food, again! And again, LOTS of love & laughter, lots of hugs & kisses.

What Would I Change? -- Hmm...probably the amount of dancing Isaac & I actually did. We were so busy saying hello to everyone we didn't dance much.  I would have tasted more of my cake!  I would have confirmed our get away car!  We were gifted a ride from the venue by a football parent Isaac knew - he's in a classic car group & a friend of his with like a '56 candy apple green Chevrolet with suicide doors & all white interior (loved it) was supposed to pick us up -- but they ended up at another winery, and when we were there -- they headed back home, which was approximately 40min from us.  So we took my parents car to the hotel.  More candid photos during the day. All in all, there isn't much else I'd change. 

Aw, man...I just love looking back at this day.  My husband is the best man around (and I'm not the only one who thinks this! Ha!) & I am so blessed to be his wife!
Thanks for going down memory lane with me! :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


An unintentional hiatus was taken....not sure why, but it was needed for whatever reason.  Ever have that moment when you blog and all you can think about really is how my thoughts/blog/experiences compare to those of the women I read.  There were moments when I felt like my life was infinitely less impressive, less "beautiful," just overall less.  Which is utterly & ridiculously stupid!  Plain stupid.

My beautiful, quiet, football filled life is mine -- and that's all that matters! I have a husband I adore, who always keeps me laughing, is the best care taker, is beyond patient & forgiving, & is the man I pray I am worthy of.  He's the man who will be my children's father....and that just has me over the moon! What lucky littles to have that funny, sweet, tender, strong man as their dad! And before you get ahead of yourself -- there's no announcement tied to this post.  We're still happily baby free in the Parker household!  Back to what I was saying....

So what have I been doing with my life in the past 2 months you might be wondering?  Well, still dragging my butt to Spartan, still willing myself to keep going even though I dont "feel" like anything is changing(matter of opinion I'm sure), started half marathon training with my cousin -- which has been surprisingly very awesome.  She's a rockstar.  We're close in age, but were never close in friendship growing up; and this time together has provided a great opportunity to really get to know one another as adults, visit, share life & have fun!  And of course there are the obligatory football events - but I can already tell this year is going to be much more fun and very different than last.  I know what to expect (sort of), I'm prepared for what our new summers really are (head coach summer vs non-head coach summer is drastically different), and I'm looking forward to see how Honey Isaac's work will display itself this year on the field!  I just know the Lord has something very cool in store for that man! Can't wait to see what it is!

And we spent some really sweet time with Isaac's brother & family in Denver in early May.  We were able to celebrate our sweet nephew Kapono's first birthday & baptism.  Definitely a whirlwind trip, but such a blessing to spend quality time with Isaac's brother & our sister-in-law.  And of course, Kapono kept us all in stitches the whole weekend - such a curious, sometimes sassy, but always sweet & laughing boy. 

All this to say -- I'm back, and will try to keep at it.  As well as post more than just "Hey, here's what I've been doing" posts, but include real life thoughts and struggles.  Because that was/is the intent for this ol' thing -- keep it real!

But to leave with some photo gems of some past adventures!
 My cute SIL & BIL - day double date in Denver on Cinco de Mayo!
 One of my best runs to date - and I've even been running
when I'm at our family cabin in WA! I'm going nutty!
 Football gear I schlepped at the Parent Night Meeting
 My cutie husband being always!
 Race day with my cousin! Her first 5k & she ROCKED it!
 Her son Liam -- a little ham! But oh so fun!
 My mother-in-law & nephew Kapono -- 
Big K's birthday outfit! She made him a custom
bow tie to match the hat Ike & I gave him!

Look forward to being back at it friends!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Lazy Days

The mister & I are taking a lazy day today....thankfully it falls in line with my "rest" day from the gym as well.  But it's so nice to lay low, get cozy, and just rest.  Granted the past two days have been off kilter from our new food regimen - but I blame that on Honey Isaac's birthday & a football coaches BBQ.  But hey - it's life right?!  And with that I'm trying to keep reminding myself that one or two meals doesn't make me a fail.  It doesn't demolish everything I've "done" this week.  It's just life.  And today is life.  And tomorrow will be life - and another chance to make another good decision.  

In other news....let me share this beauty with you all....
That right there my friends is my first "True Spartan" bracelet.  What I've mentioned I narrowly missed getting in the past two weeks.  And I nearly missed it this week as well.  Following our grueling Saturday work out our instructor Carlos said we'd have two "Spartan Challenges."  So we all circled up to see who would be the last man/woman standing from a blinded balance challenge.  It came down to me & my friend Misty -- she ultimately beat me in this challenge.  Darn pinky toe came up and then I was all messed up. But following that Carlos started sharing how the people in our class had shown some of the best improvement he'd seen since teaching and he wanted to acknowledge us all for our commitment & improvement since starting.  So we all got a bracelet! FINALLY!

In all honesty, I came home & started sharing the story with Honey Isaac and told him I how I wish I had really "earned" it -- and Lord love him, he interrupted me mid sentence saying -- "But you did earn it - you have gone each time & almost always given it your best or as best you could each time.  That means you earned that bracelet."  Man I love that man...because he's right.  
This is the first time I've been consistent going to the gym -- particularly to do something that is wicked hard & pushes me.  Sure, I was consistent with running...but most of the time that came pretty easy for me & it was just fun to be with my friends/running-family.  But this class -- this thing is a B-face most of the time & super hard for me.  And here I am in to my 3rd month, having only missed classes when absolutely necessary.  

So I proudly wore that bracelet all day & likely will again today.  Hell -- I might even wear it tomorrow & especially to class on Tuesday.  More as a reminder to myself that I am tough, that I can do it, and I can keep going.

Small victories my friends.....small victories!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Radio Silence & Changes

Wow - crazy to think my last post was way back in February.  But trust me folks -- you, or anyone for that matter, didn't want to read anything I was likely going to put forward.

March felt like such a gray month for me.  Not sure why.  Lots of things really.  But nothing stands out as the most significant.  Sure there were highlights & strong points --  like paying off our car, paying off our credit card & effectively being debt free!  That was definitely one of the best feelings for sure!

But March was also challenging mentally & emotionally.  Again - nothing I can specifically pin point.  Just gray.  Ho hum.  My workouts weren't as awesome.  My eating habits not awesome. (Shocking I wasn't feeling as awesome isn't it?!)

Speaking about workouts -- I was starting to set up a good routine of Spartan on Tues/Thrs/Sat & running the dreadmill on non-Spartan days.  And then it was spring break & I took time off (insert palm to forehead).  I came back and did my monthly "Bod Pod" - which measures your lean & non-lean mass makeup.  Truthfully I wasn't expecting it to be awesome, I wasn't even really expecting it to be any better than my first. I thought I had prepared myself for it.  But getting out of it and going over my results was frustrating, heart breaking, and annoying -- but all those feelings were directed entirely at myself.  It was me who hadn't made any progress.  It my head that had gotten in the way.  It was me & me alone.  Saturday Spartan class came with me doing better in my overall participation.  And at the end of class we had a I could have, and probably should have won.  But at one point I just surrendered & let my mind tell me & blurt out that I was "done."  Let me tell you - the second those words came out of my mouth...frustration, damn near anger at myself for surrendering, for giving in, for not pushing.  And there it was -- the root of my entire problem.  My head.  My head gets in my way.  I let it dictate what I do, how far I go, how hard I push.  I've trained my brain to surrender when it gets "hard," rather than push more, go further, etc.  

So I went home - shared this with Isaac (after I cleaned my entire downstairs out of pure frustration with myself) & literally asked Isaac to take control of our food game.  He was an exercise science major for most of his undergrad, so he's super great at food & what not.  I've turned myself over to the big guy to get us on track!  We're prepping for changes in the next year or two -- but are both committed to being in the best health/shape before any of those changes come in to play.  It's just not negotiable any more.  My health, his health, our future, the future for kids to come -- it has to be on point in order to fully enjoy all that is in store.

The biggest challenge I know I'm facing?  Modifying that internal dialogue that runs like a broken record.  Changing the words I use to describe my body, my experience, my energy, everything.  I've always chalked myself up as being a "realist" -- but really I've been more of a pessimist than anything, and boy is it a sad existence living like that all the time.  Time to shake it up.  Be my own sunshine.  Lean on the Lord & His blessings.  And be grateful.

Any recommendations?? Send em' my way!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Where is my head....& more importantly my heart?!

Yup I'm that girl who has been swimming just enough to keep my head above water.  Which, in reading back, isn't exactly something to be boasting about.  There are places in my life where I think "Lord, can it get any more busy? Please say no."  And then there are places where I look and think -- man you're kind of lazy.  Finding balance in these two is extremely difficult for me.  

I'm a firm believer that there is a sickness in my generation and it manifests itself in one of two ways....extreme, sickening busyness OR extreme, depressing laziness.  For sure it's a pendulum that swings from one side to the other for me.  I've yet to really find a happy medium between the two, often finding myself sitting on one side or the other.  And let me tell you operating from the extremes is/can be exhausting!  Emotionally, mentally, physically.  Probably the worst side effect of this sickness is the lack of gratitude & thankfulness.  Lacking in this area definitely makes for a ugly yellow/gray outlook on life.  

How dare I be so ungrateful?  How dare I compare my insides with what I think of someone else's outsides?  That's no fair -- to me or them!  How dare I look down my nose at the wonderfully, magical, tender circumstances God has so carefully laid & prepared for me.  He knows me better than all....even better than I know myself.  Where is the gentle thanksgiving in my spirit?  Where did I lose that along the way?  

Conversations over this past weekend & week have brought a spotlight to this in my heart & soul.  A painful recognition that I have underestimated the goodness, and a recognition that the sadness/frustration/angst is rooted from that place -- and not so much in the details I've decided are "wrong."  

Lord forgive me for this arrogance in believing & acting like I knew better.  Forgive me for ripping the control from your tender hands.  Help me Father to trust, even in the smallest of ways. To release & surrender.  For You will never leave nor forsake Your child.  Your goodness can not & will not abandon.  I'm choosing to smile - and to stop myself from grumbling even if about the small "insignificant" things.  "Wrap me in Your arms Lord"
<3 br="">

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Life As An Adult

Becoming an "adult," I have found, kind of sneaks up on you...or at least it has snuck up on me.  There are certainly times and situations where I definitely still feel like the kid, the inexperienced one, the naiive one in the group, the childish one.  And then there are times when I am somewhat shocked that I'm the mature one in the situation. Heck -- I have even made my bed every single day (weekends as the exception) for nearly 3 weeks! Crazy I know!

In fact, I'm not entirely sure how this whole adult-hood thing works or how it's supposed to end.  Like, will there be a definitive moment that I'll be able to stop & say...ahh, I've made it!  Logically I know that won't happen - but a girl can dream right?

Lately life has been a total mix of boring normal routine, and fun moments of dreaming of what could be.  What would our lives be in these circumstances.  And then moments of being totally thankful for exactly where we are in our life & for the people/circumstances that make up the details. Maybe that's the biggest hallmark of adult-hood....having the ability to stop, and be grateful & content in any setting.  

How have you or are you coping friends??