Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I have been completely MIA... for over a year now!!!  A lot has changed in a year: grad school and preparing to start the my journey as a mother.

I have started a new blog at www.hoosierfamilylove.wordpress.com

Please come over and join me as a document my journey through life as a new mother-to-be, teacher, graduate student, and runner all while keeping a healthy lifestyle!

See you over there :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ice Day

I feel that it is only fitting to blog today on my day off from work due to an inch of ice!!! When I started this blog about two years ago, I started it on my first-ever snow day as an educator.

So, I sit here this morning, bundled up on the couch, with a large cup of coffee and books on my ottoman that I am ready to tackle. However, Mr. Hoosier is also off of work today, so I am not sure I will get very far with my stack. Yes, you read that right, his work closed too- the joys of being a part of a small business. Oh how, I love his new company (for many reasons other than this ice day)!

As for the ice, poor Bailey went out this morning and her feet didn't even sink in our backyard because the snow that was already there is now covered with an inch of ice. This is all fun right now as we sit in our warm home, but the worst is supposed to come tonight, which could mean loss of power. If this happens, I will not be a happy camper! I love a random day off of work just as much as the next person, but to have to sit in the cold is not for me. Whew, I sure am thankful for my warm, cozy home.

So, as the majority of our city is "closed" today, I will spend my day getting lost in some books and catching up on some school work... at least I hope! It has been quite some time since I have indulged in a book for pleasure because I have been knee deep in books to better my teaching; to say the least I am looking forward to hours spent in chick lit instead of children's it!

Until next time,
H =)

Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: A Year of Change, Traditions and Normalcy

Well, here it is, the end of 2010... the end of one full year of marriage for Mr. Hoosier and me. Both 2009 & 2010 were incredible years for me, and I am ready for whatever the Lord brings me in 2011; I am sure it will be nothing short of amazing!

When I look back on 2010, the best way for me to sum it all up is that it was a year of, "change, traditions, and normalcy." Yes, I know that seems a little contradictory, but here is a summary of Mrs. Preppy Hoosier's 2010!

In January, I said good-bye to two very important people; one for good, and one was just a "change" in placement. At the beginning of January, our family lost a very special young man and my little cousin lost her first love to a terrible strep infection. Although Nate is gone, he will forever live on in our hearts, and there hasn't been a single family outing where we haven't honored and remember him. Then, at the end of January, I said good-bye to my brother as he left to become a proud and brave member of the United States Navy. Because of him, I have such a better appreciation and understand of our military members and families. I continue to glow as I tell people that MY brother serves our country; what an amazing commitment and sacrifice he has made. As we end 2010, may God continue to give our family, Nate's family, and Katie comfort in knowing he is free of pain, and may the Lord continue to watch over my brother and keep him safe as he serves our country.

As the grief of January dismissed, and things settled down from the holidays, the end of the winter months and beginning of spring became months normalcy. Mr. Hoosier and I really began to create our own routines at our home and really settled into life as "us". In March I turned 26, and began training for my best half marathon yet.
The with April came some changes. In April, I made a decision to take my chances by volunteering to move to a different school and end my special education career. My request was accepted and in May I said good-bye to the only building I ever knew and some very special co-workers- especially the best counterpart I am sure I will ever have. Although bittersweet the decision has panned out to be the best of my career thus far.

Also in May, Mr. Hoosier and I both ran our best half marathon times EVER and celebrated on year of marriage! At the end of May, I began training for my first ever marathon, but was then injured shortly there after and forced to take four weeks off in the month of June and July. As June entered, my little sister graduated from high school, we enjoyed many weekend cookouts with our friends, and I spent half days teaching "kiddie fitness camps" at the YMCA. When July rolled in, we said good-bye to my brother once again as he graduated from A-school in Chicago and made the move to Norfolk, Virginia where he is now stationed.

Although difficult to say bye to my brother in July, we were happy to spend a week in mid July in California at the wedding of Mr. Hoosier's cousin. After the wedding, we spent a week "just the two of us" exploring southern California and enjoying our second vacation as husband and wife.

Once we returned from vacation, it was time for me to start my fourth year of teaching, but at a brand new school. With this being the case, August flew by and September brought the heart of marathon training and the engagement of my very favorite cousin, Ash! We brought in the fall month with football and soups each weekend and many outdoor activities. Mr. Hoosier turned 29 in October; nothing like celebrating his last year of his 20's! We combined his birthday with my first-ever marathon, and a weekend in Chicago with our great friends, Hoosier (yes another one) and Badger! After the marathon, I took a huge hiatus from running!

Although it seems like October was a month of normalcy as we stayed home a lot and enjoyed our weekends together, there was also change as Mr. Hoosier accepted a new job. With this new job, he made the change from 6 years in large corporation finance to the small business industry with a focus on insurance. I continue to be proud of the professional man he has become and continues to be; he always puts our family in the forefront of his professional life. I take comfort in knowing he always does was will be best for us in the present and in the future!

As Mr. Hoosier became settled in his new position, and I became emerged in mine, for the first time in our three years together, we BOTH were extremely happy and enjoying our careers. These changes have brought a weekly routine for us and weekly family traditions.

In addition to the weekly traditions, the holidays came and we continued to make our own traditions and keep some that we had as young kids. We celebrated Thanksgiving back home with my family, and were fortunate enough to see ALL of his family for Christmas and have my mom and sister come down to stay with us as well. In general for my immediate family, 2010 was the year that us three siblings transformed from my mom's, "three little rugrats" to her adult kids; I am so proud of the way she has adjusted!

As I end this year that has been "oh so great", I feel like I have to pinch myself to make sure that this life I am living is real! I am blessed beyond belief to wake up each day to my best friend, share so much love and support with my family, live a life full of genuine friends, and walk into a job that I love and look forward to each day.

Although we have had to make some changes in 2010, those changes has forced us into a life of normalcy and traditions in the Preppy Hoosier house! As I ring in 2011, I pray that whatever God gives me in 2011 I will be open and accepting to His plan! And maybe that will lead me to my New Year's resolution...

Have a happy and safe New Year, friends! May you take this time to celebrate the gifts you have been given this past year!

Until next time,
H =)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays from Mr. & Mrs. Preppy Hoosier

Sending you and your's warm holiday wishes.
May you share your true gifts this holiday season!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Favorite Holiday Traditions & Memories

Ahhhh, it is here! My Christmas season has officially begun. For me, it is difficult for me to do any Christmas-thinking, besides my decorating, until I am on Christmas break, and then I usually run around to get everything done in time. However, this year I did some shopping before hand, and Mr. Hoosier and I are not doing gifts this year and instead saving for our Italy Trip in October 2011. With all this being said, I am now in what I call, "enjoy the season" mode!

There are so many things I love about the holidays: decorations, cookies, the first snowfall, the music, movies, and the kindness of others. However the one thing I enjoy the most, is the traditions of the Holiday season. As Mr. Hoosier and I create this life together, we are trying to incorporate ones for our childhood as well as those of our own.

As I reflect back on some childhood memories and traditions, here are some that top my memory... beware I have an uncanny memory!
1. Putting on Mariah Carey's Christmas cd and doing showchoir dance moves while putting up the Christmas tree.... yes, this happened from about 6th grade until I moved out of the house!

2. Opening one gift prior to attending Midnight Mass- it was always new pajamas!

3. Christmas Eve with the Rhoades side at my mom's.

4. When I was really little, my mom, brother, sister, Aunt, and three favorite cousins used to bundle up and get in my Aunt's Astro van and drive around Fort Wayne and look at lights. I remember the one time we went to this culde-sac of huge houses and a ton of lights and they had a mailbox for letters to Santa; we all had written one prior to and put them in there!

5. Christmas Eve at my Aunt Kathy's- she used to live in the same neighborhood where my mom and all her sisters grew up. One Christmas Eve we caroled throughout the neighborhood, and ended up caroling to many that knew my mom and aunts from when they were little girls! As I look back on this, I am amazed, and want to do it again!

6. In high school, my best friend and I would come home from midnight mass and wait for my parents to go to bed and shake ALL of my gifts... bad girls! But how I miss attending church and spending Christmas Eve with my BFF and her family!

7. Family ski trips every Christmas break!

8. Making Peanut Butter Cookies with mom and taking them to all of the neighbors and my Great- Grandma that was in the nursing home.

9. A one-time memory- all of the family in one house on Christmas day when Aunt Laura lived in Michigan. Santa miraculously knew we were all there and delivered all the gifts there! I woke everyone up at 5am to open gifts, and received a Walkman... yes, you read that correctly!

And my most favorite and most missed Holiday memory... piling into one bed with my brother and sister anxiously awaiting "Santa Claus' arrival". Even when we became too big to pile into one bed, we still tried. Sometimes my brother would sleep on the floor and let us girls have the bed! Oh how I miss those days, but will treasure them forever! I hope some day we can share that special memories with our own children, and all pile into one house with all of our kids and have Christmas day just one more time!!!

I hope you take the time this Holiday season to create new traditions and relive old ones with the ones you love the most!

Until next time,


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Thanksgiving Reflection

It is not so much the example of others we imitate as the reflection of ourselves in their eyes and the echo of ourselves in their words.

~ Eric Hoffer

For the last 24 days (all of November), I have tried to reflect on the things that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving, and just like each and every year, there is a plethora. On a daily basis, I wake up and am incredible thankful for my husband: the unconditional love he gives me; the work ethic he has; and the drive and ambition he puts into his career and also into being a better man. For the last twenty plus years I have been thankful for my family; each and every family member. I am amazed by the continual and growing bond between me, Zach and Courtney, and feel blessed by our relationship. I am thankful that my parents have been such great role models and incredible providers. The relationship between my cousins, aunts and uncles is a true testament to God’s way of making sure we are never alone. Then, there are my friends: I have such kind, good-hearted friends from all the different journeys in my life, and they have helped to shape me into the woman I am today. Family & friends, a consistent thing I am thankful for each year. Each year I am also always thankful for material items: my warm home; the car I drive; the ability to put food on the table.

As I sit down this Thanksgiving Eve and really truly reflect on what I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving, of course everything above comes to mind, but one thing different from all the years in the past stick out: my career. Yes, you read that correct. I am so incredibly thankful for my teaching career and the 28 students I am able to influence each and every day.

I went through four years of college and one full year of student teaching always in anticipation and extreme excitement for the day I got to have my very own classroom; I couldn’t’ wait. I had wanted to be a teacher since my senior year in high school, and I couldn’t wait to have my very own classroom full of energetic, engaged students; a classroom full of many books; and a classroom full of a true love for learning. All throughout that year of student teaching I imagined what it would be like with my very own classroom; I knew it would be pure bliss.

Then, I landed my very first job. All summer I envisioned what this classroom would look like, feel like, and sound like. Then, it all started and it wasn’t at all what I had dreamed. In fact the last three years of my teaching career haven't been what I had envisioned at all what-so-ever. To be honest, it had been so much of an opposite of what I had dreamed that I questioned my choice of careers on a daily basis. I was disappointed in myself and thought others were too; after all, how could I spend five years and a lot of money on a career I dread.

For the first time since August of 2007, I feel completely different, and it is what I am most thankful for this year; for the true love and passion for teaching that has been reinstalled in me. Just like in any career, there are rough days, but 97% of the time I wake up excited to come to work each and every day. As for the other 3% when I am not excited, my students usually are able to change my attitude with their positive attitudes as soon as they enter my classroom door with their love for learning, and their care for one another. I love spending my days with fifth graders, seeing them grow, and sharing with them my love for learning- especially my love for literacy.

So this Thanksgiving, when someone asks me what I am most thankful for, I will be sure to let anyone who asks know how thankful I am to have a career that I love, that is influential, and that has the ability to bring so much happiness to my life and the life of my students. And as for my Thanksgiving wish: I wish that all of my students will feel my love for learning; will remember me by my passion for them and my love for literacy; and will grow into adults with passion for their life and their careers’.

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!!!

Until next time,

H =)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Did It... 26.2

It's been three days since my very first marathon, and I am ready to reflect on what an incredible experience it was! I will definitely be back for another, and knowing my addictive, competitive personality, probably several.

The excitement began as we unloaded our car and walked to our hotel in downtown Chicago; I immediately saw runners everywhere. There truly isn't anything better than to be surrounded by individuals that have the same interests in passion as you. We arrived to the hotel, checked-in, dropped off our luggage, and set out for some lunch. As we walked down "The Magnificent Mile" in search of some carbs, there were runners everywhere! My favorite thing to do when I see runners is to check out their shoes. Weird I know, but I enjoy seeing what they where when they are "off" and I also like to calculate in my head what is the most popular brand of running shoes, and how many have the same shoes as me. Of course on Saturday most of them still wore running shoes or gym shoes of some sort because no one wanted to have sore feet for the race. We finally found some lunch, football games, and beer for the boys (a great way to make my hubby happy on his birthday).

After lunch we went to Niketown because there were shuttles that took you from there to the Expo. Outside of Niketown we saw the huge "Chicago Unleashed" murals with every participants name on it-how amazing! I found mine, but it was too high up for me to take a picture. Rachel was able to find her's and take a picture. I joked with Josh that if he would have allowed me to hyphenate my name (yes, I asked once) then I would have been able to find mine AND get a picture with it. Next to the Nike store was also the Garmin store; this was truly heaven for any runner!

We got on the bus, a school bus I might add, and headed to the expo. This expo was unlike anyone I had ever been to- it was huge! We got our packets and shopped around. I bought a very nice Nike half zip, long-sleeved, dry fit shirt, and my frugal thought I was joking when I told him it was $70. I reiterated the fact that I trained for 20-weeks and it isn't just a Nike half zip, but it has Chicago Marathon 2010 on it; he then understood. We then left the expo after being there for about an hour and a half and headed back to the hotel to do a little bit of relaxing. It surely had been a long day of driving and walking around Chicago.

Later that evening we got read for dinner. Rachel and I headed down to the Big Bar (yes, that was the name) in our hotel to have one beer (yay, carbs). Then, we headed to Bucktown to have a nice Italian dinner. The place we went to was BYOB, which apparently is popular in Chicago. My dear friend, Christina met us there and we enjoyed a decent dinner, horrible service, but great conversation! After dinner Rach and I called it a night and the boys and Christina went out to celebrate Josh's birthday.

I fell asleep very quickly, which was good. I had originally thought I wouldn't be able to sleep because of the anticipation. The next morning, I woke up and ate breakfast and prepared for the race. As we were walking to the start line, I began to get very nervous, more so than I have ever been about running. I was so worried I wouldn't be able to finish despite all the training I did. We finally got to the start line, but couldn't manage to get up with our pace, so we started in the 12-minute mile pace, which made the first 3 miles miserably packed! It took us about 10-15 minutes to get the start line. When we finally reached it, I couldn't believe it... "20-weeks of training and here I go," I thought to myself.

For about the first six miles of the race my legs felt like complete jello. I am unsure why they felt like that, but finally about at mile 6 or 6 1/2 I felt normally and ready to go. Good thing, I ONLY had 20 miles to go, but I knew I could do 20 more because I did that many in my training. I didn't think about much for the first 7 miles, other than, "I can't believe I am really running a marathon." As I was passing people, many wore shirts and signs of people in which they were running for. My curiosity kicked in and I wondered what the story was. The one person that sticks out to me the most was this man who was probably in his early 20s. He was a very tall man and on the back of his shirt he had a picture of himself hugging a girl, and with her name, date of birth and date of death. The woman died in August of this year, and his shirt said, "running for her". My heart went out to this man because I am assuming it was either his wife or significant other. I was amazed by the number of people that dedicated their run to other people.

The race went on and I loved watching the people in the crowd. The amount of people cheering was simply amazing, and the types of shirts and signs people make or hysterical and very creative. However, one sign simply stated, "Run Bitches" and made me laugh as I was running. The crowd definitely helped me keep going the whole 26.2 miles.

Miles 7-13.1 were great! I was surely enjoying my run. I stopped at every water station and the only thing I really thought was, "this is actually enjoyable". I ran a 2:04 half marathon, so I was on pass to run a 4:08 full marathon, and man did I feel great about that. Then, the need to pee kicked in at about mile 14. Rach and I were still together at this point, and we decided to get a Gatorade cup, drink it, and go over to the bush and pee in the cup (TMI?, Sorry), and so we did, several times. After that potty break, we felt better and were back on the road to a nice full marathon time. We ran about another two miles and the heat just started to really kick in. It felt like every time I pounded the pavement it got hotter and hotter. We walked through the next water station and stretched and that is when I lost her. I ran forward and then stopped about three times to look for her, but with no luck I just kept going. At that point it was me racing for the finish with thousands strangers around me, and my own thoughts.

I thought about everything I could possibly think about, and for several miles I was looking hard in hopes of seeing Mr. Hoosier on the side of the street with the sign my students made me, but had no luck. My mind thought about how I used to HATE to run, and how it is now just a part of who I am. Often times my mind wandered to my mom and how much I have her to thank for my passion for fitness, running and living a healthy life. I remembered the times when I was little and would get jealous because she would be at the gym or on a run, but now I get it- in order to be a good mother, she had to get her exercise, and I hope my future children understand that about me some day. Mr. Hoosier had been so patient with my 4:30 am runs during the week day, my early bed times on Friday nights because of a long run on Saturday, and my Saturday afternoon naps through this marathon training; I thought about how thankful I am to have such a patient and loving husband. Of course I thought about my Dad and how thankful I am for him. I also thought about that silly biological dad of mine that I don't talk to as I ran through Wrigleyville, the anger for him made me run a little faster, but then I began to think how much better off I am without him in my life. I thought about my brother and sister, of course. I wondered what Zach was doing out at sea, and wondered if Court would ever run a race with me. The, for a few miles, I thought about my Grandma Gladys and my beloved Uncle Rick; I knew they were watching me as I raced through the streets of Chicago. I am sure my grandma was proud, as was Uncle Rick. I am sure he also was thinking I was crazy! I thought of all the moments I had with him- I sure do miss him. I thought about all the girls that I have influenced through coaching Girls on the Run, and with that I was trying to think which of them might run a marathon some day. I thought how cool it would be if I could even run a half marathon some day with some of my girls- they have had such a huge impact on my life. I thought about all 29 of my students and how amazed I am by their love for life and for learning. Basically, as I ran, my mind just wandered; it was a peaceful wander, one that I have never experienced. And that is what I did all the way until the finish line.

However, it wasn't all fabulous and peaceful. At mile 19, I had some bad thoughts as I had slowed down a lot. I knew I wasn't going to get my 4:10, but was still hoping for 4:15. I was so hot and exhausted. I somehow self-talked myself into continuing, but I had slowed down drastically. At mile 22, I walked a little, but then told myself I could still run a 4:15, but after that I walked three other times! At one point I said to myself, "this 26.2 is the dumbest thing I have ever done!" Finally at mile 24, a sweet older lady patted me on the back and said, "You can do this, finish with me," and that is what I did, I picked it up and never looked back. I lost her at about mile 25, but I wasn't turning back now. I couldn't believe I was only 1.2 miles away from completing my first marathon! I opened up my stride and really went for it despite the pain from the heat. I had 400 meters to go and I picked it up even more, and then I sprinted the last 200 meters to the finish line. I had done it, I just completed 26.2 miles in 4:18:28, and my my first thought was, "I want to do it again, I have to beat that time."

It was difficult to walk to the charity village, but when I got there I just plopped myself on the ground. I was disappointed in my time, and reflecting on the times I walked and was angry. However today, I am happy with it because it was my first marathon, and so many people never even complete one marathon. I have set a baseline, and now know what to do when I choose to do another one- I just hope my mom will join me for my next...

H =)