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 =)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Good-byes: they DON'T get easier each time

Well yesterday, I said good-bye to my brother yet again. This time, it is going to be worse than when he was at basic training; I don't know when I will get to see him again, or how often I will get to talk to him. I know this is a part of his gig, a part of him growing into a man, and a part of life, but it doesn't make it any easier.

Yesterday he came down to spend the day with me; I am so lucky that my younger brother still enjoys hanging out with his big sister. He was a big help in my classroom as he hung curtains, made a large welcome sign (he & my sister are both more artistic than me), moved furniture, and helped organize. Although it was a working kind of day, it was nice to just be in a room just the two of us. We talked about what he is looking forward to, his fears, and what the future might hold for him.

After working in my classroom for several hours, we came home and relaxed and then went out for our "Last Supper". I then had a GOTR meeting, and he had to get home so he could get to the Navy office today, but he also took Bailey back to my mom's for us so she could watch her while we are on vacation.

Saying good-bye this time was much harder than when he left for bootcamp. With bootcamp, there was an end date; I knew when I would get to see him again. With A-School, he was in Chicago, so it wasn't far and he could come often. Now this new transition is a new challenge. He will be stationed in Norfolk, Virgina, and well, that isn't too far away, but there is more to this. Yes, Norfolk is close and we could easily drive there for Christmas or Thanksgiving, but when those Holidays come around, he won't be there. His ship is on a world tour right now, so as soon as he gets to Norfolk he will fly out to where his ship is and be there for about a year. Yes, that is right a year; I will not see my brother for a year! I know people do this all the time, and some do this with their husbands or wives, and to me that is incredible! I won't get to to celebrate his 21st birthday with him, see him on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or just on a random weekend. I know in my heart that he will be just fine, and this is a part of life, but regardless of where we are in our lives, he is still my little brother, and as a big sister I will always have this feeling.

Although, I am feeling sadness for the lack of visits we will have in the next year, I am very excited for him. He will get to do things most people will never experience in their lifetime. He will get to be on this ship and enter different countries; the different types of cultures he will get to experience will be an indescribable experience. In one year, he will get to visit more countries and see more sites than most people do in their lifetime. So, although I will miss him, I know that is very selfish because this is going to be an incredible experience for him. I am excited to see the ways in which he grows even more in the next year.

So, here is a quick last note to my Sailor brother:

Dear Zachary,

Yesterday was hard, yesterday was very hard! As I sit here and write this while icing my legs, I still feel a lump in my throat, a pit in my stomach, and an overall feeling of sadness to know that it is going to be a very long time until I see you again. I have told you over and over how proud I am of the man you have become, and this still holds true today. I am envious of the experiences you will have in the next year and am extremely anxious to hear about all your endeavors, and to see how these new experiences will have shape you into an even more well-rounded man. This will be the longest I have ever gone without seeing you, but in my heart, I know it is okay. It is all a part of growing up, right? At least that is what I tell myself in order to stop the tears. From the day you were born, you have meant so much to me, and 20 years and 9 months later that hasn't changed one bit. I treasure all the time we have had together over the years, and especially the time I was able to see you while you were on leave. I look forward to seeing you again, no matter when that may be.

My advice to you, you know I have to since I am the big sis, is to simply, ENJOY! There is no other time in your life that you are going to be able to see the world from a boat! There is so much to learn from other cultures, so when you get to go into different cities, take it all in and see as much as you can. Always know that we will be thinking about you and praying for your safe journey. When you get home, we will celebrate your 21st birthday New Haven style! I love you, Z!!

Love always,

Your big sis
Me, Zach and Court @ the Zac Brown Band concert- what a great night with my favorites!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Half Way There

At the beginning of 2010, I made a goal for myself to read 20 books this year! I love to read and have always loved to read, but tend to only read during summer and breaks off from work. So, it was my goal to read during the school year too; of course I am talking about for pleasure and not all of the professional books and resources that I read.

Yesterday, I finished my 10th book- I am halfway to my goal! My 10th book was House Rules by Jodi Picoult. If you look at my book list, you can see that I read her books often because they are exceptional; this book was no exception. Her writing amazes me because it is evident that she has to do some much research to write the majority of her books. Many of her topics are very controversial. This book was about an 18 year old boy who was on the Autism Spectrum, Aspergers to be exact, and was accused of murdering his tutor. As a teacher I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although fiction of course, I learned things I didn't know about Aspergers.

So, if you are looking for a new read, I suggest you pick up this book, and then let me know what you think.

Until next time,

H =)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Routines: not just for kids

As my summer break comes to a close, for the first time in my life I feel like it is okay. I am not sure why this is the case; maybe it is because this is the first summer I didn't have another gig or maybe it is because I am excited about the change in my career. However, I am really starting to believe that it is because I am such a creature of habit, and just like my students, I function better when I am in a set routine.

This summer I have found myself staying up later, sleeping later, taking more naps, waking up in the middle of the night, and eating worse. Now, some of this could be because of my lack of running for the past three weeks, but I believe a lot of it is from lack of routine.

For all of you 52-week-workers, I am not complaining one bit about having my summer off of work. In fact, I love it. By the end of the school year, I definitely need some time to myself away from my students, my classroom and time to reflect on my choices and effectiveness as a teacher. The summer also provides me with an opportunity to regroup for the new incoming group of students and prepare for the year ahead. However, my school district has moved to a new calendar that we are calling the blended calendar; we have a shorter summer and more breaks throughout the school year. For me this works perfectly because at this moment in time, I am ready to go back to work- my summer has been long enough. But I know that come October I will need another break; good thing I will now have two weeks in October!

For me summer is also a time of constantly being "on the go". Mr. Hoosier and I have not spent a single weekend here at home in the month of July. I feel like during the summer, our weekends fill so quickly and there isn't time to just "breathe". Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that we are able to do so many things with friends and family, but there are times where I just love being at home.

So, as I sit in our office this morning drinking my coffee and eating my oatmeal, I have already gotten a 50 minute run in, showered, and after this blog, I will be on my way into my classroom to get some work done. Besides next week when we are on vacation in California, there will be no more haphazard routines. I am excited to get back into a routine. I am excited for a typical Sunday at the Preppy Hoosier Household: church, gym for me to teach, grocery store, pot of soup on the stove, and relaxation for the rest of the day.

For the first time in my life, I realize now why a routine is so important to not just my special needs students, but all students; it is important to me too as a 26 year old. So as many adults and kids complain about going back to school, I am ready! I am ready to bring on 30 new 5th graders and my daily routine. Not to mention, I love new school supplies :)

Until next time,

H =)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Weekend in Chicago

I just love Chicago! This past weekend, Mr. Hoosier and I spent the weekend in Chicago. We had a fabulous time. We were able to watch the Cubs beat the Reds 3-0, I saw Ed from Jillian's season of the Bachelorette, indulge in a lot of delicious food, watch the fireworks from the rooftop, and most importantly spend quality time with my dear friend, Christina.

Here are the some highlights from the weekend...
Mr. Hoosier and I after a W!!!

For those Bachelor/Bachelorette fans, here is Ed from Jillian's season. Yes, I ran into him at Wrigley Field, and clearly didn't feel ashamed to stop and ask for a picture!

We spent all Sunday afternoon at the beach!!

The fourth of July marks only 4 more weeks until I return to work with my students! It has been a great summer, but boy has it gone fast! As for the rest of the summer, boy oh boy it is going to be busy. This week, I am going back home to attend the Zack Brown Band Concert with my family. My brother is on leave from the the Navy right now so it will be great to see him. This weekend, we will also be going home so that Mr. Hoosier can see him before he leaves for Norfolk. Then, next week, on Friday, we leave for California. In between all of this, I need to get into school and begin setting up my new classroom.

Until next time,

H =)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Less Running... More Blogging?

Well, today was a BAD day for Mrs. Preppy Hoosier! Today I was given some horrible news... NO RUNNING OR ANYTHING HIGH IMPACT FOR THREE WEEKS! Yes, you read that right. Now for most people, that wouldn't be a big deal, but to me I think I might go crazy... literally.

I am only in week four of my marathon training and this has already happened, and furious is an understatement. It isn't just about the marathon because I know that if I am smart and treat this injury correctly, then I will be up and running (literally) in time to continue my training without much loss. However, this is more about my mental state as running to me is the most important activity of my day. I just can't explain the feeling I get from running. I am sure all you runners out there completely "get me". Running is my sanctuary; it is my time to clear my mind and enjoy the outdoors. It is truly the only time of the day that I can completely shut my mind off; sometimes I can't even do that while sleeping.

So, here is my story...
I have a stress fracture in my left tibia. I have been having shin splints for quite some time and have tried to ice and stretch. I figured this just comes along with upping your mileage and also caused from the high impact and all the jumping in the group exercise class I teach. I thought they would eventually get better. However, my husband suggested that I just get them checked out and see if there is anything else I could do before I get too far into my marathon training. So, I finally agreed, which is huge because I am stubborn and had a feeling they would tell me I needed to cut back my mileage which I wouldn't like. So, today I ventured to the doctor to find out I have a stress fracture in one leg and bad shin splints in the other. I am not able to run or teach my classes for 3 weeks; at that time, I will return and hopefully be healed! So here goes my attempt at cycling (maybe that bike I bought last year will get use) and the elliptical. In turn, I am sure I will blog more while I am icing for 25 minutes two times per day. By the way, I am icing now... brr....

Well, friends I hope you will bear with me as I go through this time. No running usually equals grouchy preppy Hoosier, but I am determined to not let this get to me. Well, determined after today is over as I have had several mental breakdowns. Words of encouragement are welcome!

Until next time,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Congratulations, Sis

Congratulations to my, now graduated, younger sister! Court, I love you and am proud of you! I can't wait to see what the future has in store for you. You are intelligent, beautiful, and one extremely caring and passionate person. You WILL make a difference!

Last night, my sister Courtney, graduated from High School! She is the youngest of the three of us, and the last one for my parents to go through New Haven High School. It is crazy to think that none of us will be at the NHHS anymore. However, we do still have several cousins still attending.

It's crazy to think that my mom, dad, brother, sister, and myself all have a high school diploma from the same place; I highly doubt that happens very often these days. We can also all bust out our NHHS letter jackets and do a fashion show; which, we have done in the past (kinda embarrassing). Even better than that, all my aunts, uncles, and cousins (with the exception of my two cousins in Georgia, and one cousin that graduated from Heritage) have a high school diploma from the same high school; this IS on both sides of my family, so we are talking approximately 25 plus people. As my sister graduated last night, this to me, ended an era. I do think it is pretty neat that we all have graduated from the infamous NHHS, but I am glad I have moved out of New Haven and expanded my horizons. I know that although neat, the tradition of all of the Saalfrank/Rhoades families graduating from NHHS will not continue, and that is OK.
As for my sis, I really can't believe it! I am very proud of her accomplishments, but to me, graduating from high school is an expectation. Therefore, my excitement for her and congratulatory message centers more around opportunities for her future. As I spent the past week looking through old photos and putting together my version of a scrapbook (thank you shutterfly), it brought back many memories of our childhood and much anticipation for her future.

As I flipped through and placed pictures of our younger days on a scanner, and scrolled through my online albums of our older days, I laughed a lot, cried a little, and felt proud. I could have probably made a whole entire album of pictures of my sister and brother BOTH with their shirt off. Yes, you read that correctly, my sister, as a little girl was always shirtless. This, I believe is a product of being just 18 months younger than my brother, always being his sidekick and listening and believing every word he said. As a result of this, Court was definitely a "tomboy" when she was younger, but as a product of her environment. I am now convinced that this is why she is probably the complete opposite today; girly girl and we love that about her!
It was clear that as the youngest child with two very strong minded older siblings, it was probably difficult for her to find her true identity when she was younger. However, as I scrolled through the pictures, you really started to see her identity come out in her early high school years. Courtney took a much different path than Zach and I, and for that I am so proud of her. As Zach and I thrived on the field, you could see the real Courtney on stage. She is an incredible singer and dancer, and was an awesome showchoir performer! Showchoir gave her the confidence she needed all along to grow as an individual and find her identity; the identity that wasn't her sister's softball & volleyball shadow, or her brother's baseball legacy or choice to be shirtless. Showchoir has made her the person she is today: strong, confident, free spirited, artistic, and passionate. We love her!

I believe that the differences the three of us share is what makes us so close today. Again, as I looked through the pictures, I felt a true warmth in my heart. I am extremely grateful for the relationship that the three of us have. We have grown to be the closest siblings you will ever know. The love we have for each other is unconditional. The graduation of my sister is truly the end of the time the three of us would call "our childhood", and a bittersweet moment it is. As our lives as children end and we truly become adult siblings, I look forward to what the future holds: more diplomas, lots of laughs, hopefully eventually some weddings and nieces & nephews (I know that's a ways away), many more memories, and even more love than the last 20 years.

So Court, here's to you my not so baby sister:
I love you dearly! You have shown me what the true meaning of a "sisterly bond" is. I am so glad to have a best friend in my sister. Although the youngest, you are the heart and passion of our family. I thank God everyday that I was given a sister 19 years ago.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Severe Blogging Hiatus

My apologies for the lack of posting in the last month! Life has been wonderfully busy.

In the past month, I have spent my time running, running and running. I have also been knee deep in Girls on the Run "stuff", which is a wonderful thing. In addition, I have been preparing to change schools, grades, and subjects! Life is good, friends!

In the last month, I have put in a good amount of miles, and it sure did pay off! I ran my PR at the Indy Mini Marathon this Saturday. I beat my last PR by just 4 seconds. I was so excited! It was a cold, windy day, and the beginning was crowded and slow. Now, I am moving on from 13.1 to 26.2 and I am excited. I usually finish a half and feel like, "there is no way I can do 13.1 more", but this time I didn't feel like that. So, bring it on 26.2!!!

Girls on the Run is going great, and I am absolutely in love with what I am doing! I don't have any problem spending time working on getting our programs going, which has been a lot of time, and I am so thankful to have such a patient husband. We have began to raise funds, we have a restaurant night with Texas Roadhouse in two weeks, and I have my first meeting with a principal for a fall program. I feel truly blessed with the opportunity to bring this program to the girls of my community. Sometimes it is a little overwhelming because the growth already is more than anticipated, but it's okay, I can take it. I am so happy to be following my dreams!

As for school, that is right I am changing schools. I have been blessed with the opportunity in moving to our brand new intermediate schools. With all of the budget cuts, we have closed two schools and made all elementary schools k-4. Our middle schools will now be two schools within one; this means the intermediate schools on the lower level and middle schools on the upper level. I will be teaching 5th grade general education. That's right, I am not only switching schools, but I am getting out of special education. I am excited to be able to impact more children and still teach student with special needs in an inclusive classroom. I definitely needed a change, and I am very excited about it. There are only 9 more days of school left and then summer is here; I can't wait!

My 8 weeks of summer will be spent working on Girls on the Run, teaching kids group exercise classes, and beginning the training for my marathon. I am also excited to read a lot! I also hope to keep up with my blog better!

Well, that is about it, I will be back within the next week!

Until next time,
H =)

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Well, today is my last day in Florida. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. It has been such a relaxing, and much needed trip. I have been able to spend some much needed time with one of my greatest friends. I even got in a couple of good runs while I was here. I ran on the bay, and it was absolutely beautiful. We went to the beach and also laid out by the pool at her house; I am definietely sunburnt... boo! In addition, I began and finished Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah, which was WONDERFUL!

I depart this evening at 7pm. While I am not ready to leave the warm weather, I am ready to see Mr. Hoosier. Not to mention, I am looking forward to the 80 degree weather I will be returning to tomorrow. My family will also be coming into town for Easter weekend. Saturday will be filled with pedicures for the girls and the Final Four tourney downtown.

I hope everyone is enjoying their week.

Until next time,
H =)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Crazy Week

I have been absent from the blogging world lately... it has been a crazy last ten days! Last Thursday, Mr. Hoosier and I left for Chicaog to go see my brother graduate from Navy Basic Training; he is officially a Sailor, and it was an amazing experience, and oh so great to see him! We spend the weekend there with my family, which was so fun. We returned home to get inducted into our church. Monday was my birthday... 26... YIKES!!!! This one hit me hard! Yes, I celebrated all week. Now it is Saturday, I am going on an 8 mile run, and then catching a plane to Florida. I can't wait! I will be spending Spring Break in Tampa with my good friend, Liz.

Have a great week.

Until next time,
H =)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Book #5- Check

Hooray!!! I completed book #5 last night, however, I am paying for it today. Yes, I stayed up past 1am to finish book #5; it was an excellent read. I read Jodi Picoult's Harvesting the Heart. Jodi is one of my favorite authors and she often times writes about very controversial topics that "hover the line". However, this book was perfect- now probably second behind My Sister's Keeper.

Now, I am on to book #6 of my 20 for the year 2010. I am thinking I will definitely surpass 20 for the year, especially with my relaxing Spring Break in Florida just two weeks away. So, I now have 3 books sitting on my kitchen table, and can't decide which to open up first. All of my three books are reccommendations from blogging friends or facebook friends, so thanks, friends!

Well, I am off, to read one of the three books. Mondays are my rest day from workouts... ahhh!!!

Until next time,
H =)

Friday, March 12, 2010

I Did It

That's right, friends, I registered for the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. I can't believe it! This will be my first ever marathon and I am excited. The marathon is October 10th (a day after Mr. Hoosier's birthday). I thought October would be a perfect time to run a marathon: the weather (let's hope) will be mild, I won't have to deal with snow for my training, for the majority of my training I won't be in school, and I will already have a solid base from the half marathon. So, with all of this being said, I have no idea what to expect while preparing for this race. I don't even have a time goal set for myself. I know it's my first and I should just be concerned with finishing, however, I am much more motivated when I have a time in my head to shoot for. I can run a half marathon in under two hours (about 1:55), so for all your vetran marathoners out there, what would be a good time goal to shoot for?

I will be running it with my good friend and running buddy R. I am so excited she decided to do it and that we are going to be able to train together. I am not confident I would have been able to make it on those long runs without someone else.

I will be happy to take any tips and advice while training for this race. I can't believe I am doing it, but am so excited.

In addition, R and I will both be running this marathon as a Girls on the Run SoleMate, which was actually the determining factor in me choosing to actually do this. As a SoleMate, we will be running to raise money (at least $262) for Girls on the Run of Hamilton County. When I found out that the Chicago Marathon was the official partner of Girls on the Run SoleMates I decided that I must do it, so here we go! As I am training, my motivation will be that this is not just for me, but also for the girls of my community. I am doing this to provide them with the opportunity to "live a life full of self respect and healthy living".

So, please follow and support me on this journey to not just 26.2, but also $262 for Girls on the Run of Hamilton County! If you would like to donate to my efforts, follow this link- any donation is greatly appreciated and will be applied to efforts to continue to offer Girls on the Run to the girls of Hamilton County.

Until next time,
H =)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Sunny Snapshot Saturday

That's right, it is FINALLY sunny in Indiana, and the snow is almost gone! I think Spring is really trying to come to stay. What better way to enjoy the sun this morning than with a 6 mile run on the Monon.

But before that, here is my snapshot Saturday....

Boy, oh boy do I ever miss these two! Just two more weeks and we wille watching my brother graduate from Bootcamp and spending the weekend with him in Chicago. I am so excited! I have the best siblings!!! (This picture was taken last year at my sister's birthday)

I know I look disgusting in this photo, but it's okay, I love the memory AND I love her! This picture was taken as my sister and I were driving to Georgia for spring break- safe, I know!!! Last year, we took a "sisters trip" to Georgia to visit my Aunt and cousins. We made it in the car together for 12 hours! It was a wonderful bonding experience. We planned on doing the same this year, but our dreams were shot when we found out we had different spring breaks (sad face).

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! After my run, maybe Mr. Hoosier and I will take Bailey for a walk and put some chicken on the grill... sounds like my kind of day!

Until next time,
H =)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday Morning Ramblings

Yes, I know, I haven't written anything with substance lately, nor have done any Snapshot Saturdays. I am boring, I know, but maybe that is just how this overdue winter has me feeling. In fact, that must be it. I am over this weather. I am tired of being indoors, I am tired of long pants that must be worn with closed toe shoes, thick sweaters, and my long, heavy coats. I am ready to be able to run outside, take my dog for a walk where she isn't filthy when it is over, be able to walk to grab dinner with my husband, and sit out on our deck. I am also ready to get up in the morning and NOT think, "what can I wear that will keep me warm all day," and my only options being thick sweaters. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE sweaters, but it is almost March, so I am over them. I am ready to wear no socks with my shoes, my light weight jackets to work (hey, I am okay with wearing a jacket still), and short sleeve shirts. So, my request is Spring, please GET HERE SOON!

Besides the weather, here are some more of my rambles:

- These girl scout cookies need to leave our house pronto. They are doing nothing positive for me! Nothing at all!!!

- I have done a horrible job of A) tracking my running on my little gadget on here and B) actually getting all of my miles in. 10 weeks until the mini marathon and I have to "kick it in gear" this week and hit all my training days!

- DAIRY is the DEVIL! (minus eggs and cheese they have been okay so far) So, I had to leave work at about 1:30 yesterday afternoon. We had a pitch-in lunch and someone brought in some apple crisp. Well, for all of you that don't know me, any dessert with APPLES is my absolute favorite and especially when it is warm with some ice cream. So, I ate some with, I promise you, only a small spoon full of ice cream. Oh, well about 30 minutes later, I was in the library with my students when I had to dash to the restroom because I had such a pain in my stomach and all I could do was bend over. The pain continued and I couldn't even stand up straight. Little to say, I am 99% sure I can't have dairy. I haven't been able to drink milk or eat ice cream in large amounts for awhile now, but this was so small I didn't think it would have an effect. I am so sad... I LOVE ice cream. Mr. Hoosier and I love to walk to the little ice cream shop near our house in the summer =( For those of you that are non-dairy eaters, what do you eat for ice cream replacement??? As for the milk, I have tried soy, and YUCKKKK!

-ISTEP testing beings on Monday and I am ready to scream! For those of you that do not live in Indiana, ISTEP is our state-wide standardized tests that the students have to take. I feel so sorry for my poor kiddos- it bores me, can you imagine how they feel?

- I received yet another letter from my brother this week. He has been so great about writing me! My mom also received a call from him. He is doing wonderful! It has actually gone by so fast and in four weeks we will be watching him graduate! I am so excited to see where the Navy takes him and what it has in store for him. I am such a proud big sister!

- California Dreaming! That's right, Mr. Hoosier and I will be going to Carlsbad & San Diego, California for a week this summer! Mr. Hoosier's cousin is getting married out there and we are turning it into a week long vacation after the wedding festivities. Last night, we planned out the things we want to do and looked into the condo we want to rent. I can't wait!!! We plan on going to a Padres game (our goal is to visit every MLB stadium), visit the San Diego Zoo, take a trip to Southern California wine country (Temecula- this is going to be my favorite day, I just know it), take a whale watching trip on a sail boat, and do some hiking & kayaking. We also plan on spending some time at the beach, taking a trip to the farmer's market, and exploring the different restaurants of the town! I can't wait! I haven't been to California since I went with my mom in third grade. This is going to be a wonderful trip!

- What is a post from Mrs. Preppy Hoosier without talking about Girls on the Run? I have been very busy with preparing things for our 3/11 "Interest Meeting", meeting with a variety of people, and working with the attorney on our bylaws. It is difficult to do all this with a full-time job, but I absolutely LOVE it- I wish it was my full time job! We are having an interest meeting to recruit board members and coaches. I am also going into the third week of the season I am running at my school and loving it. I received 10 shoe scholarships this week, which was so exciting! This means that 10 of my girls are going to receive a pair of brand new New Balance shoes. New Balance is an official sponsor of GOTR. I am thinking I need to switch to New Balance as well. I am an Asics girl now, but if they NB supports GOTR, then I should support NB. Anyone run in New Balance? What are a good pair of shoes? Molly, I know you do!!!

Well, I am off to head the library to pick up another book, and go for a run when Mr. Hoosier gets home from work. Have a great weekend, friends!

Until next time,
H =)

Monday, February 15, 2010

It's the little things in life...

... that get me excited! So, I made a quick trip to Target this evening to pick up some ortega (Tacos for dinner at the Hoosier household tonight) and a snack for Girls on the Run tomorrow. As I was shopping around Target, I came to the hair accessories section, and came across these...

LOOK closely at the bottom right hand corner for the Girls on the Run logo.

That's right, I did buy barrettes just because on the corner they have the Girls on the Run logo. Goody is a national sponsor of Girls on the Run. I purchase Goody hair accessories always, but have never noticed the logo on the bottom. Now, not everything contained the logo, just select items. So, I decided to buy them. I thought, well, I can give them to my girls, OR put them in my own hair. Afterall, I do wear barrettes to keep my hair out of my face while running, and sometimes just because I enjoy feeling young again. Also, if you are asking yourself the question, "is this girl so obsessed with Girls on the Run she buys barrettes just for the logo on the bottom?" Your answer is, "YES, actually I am!"

Now, I just hope that some other lady is strolling around Target and wants to buy barrettes for her daughter, and she suddenly comes across these so she buys them. Then, she comes home and notices the GOTR logo and decides to Google it and finds out that we are starting in here in Hamilton County, and BAM the word begins to spread. Wishful thinking, at your finest, but hey, I can hope....

Quick Book Update

So, yesterday I posted that I had finished Book #3 of 2010. Well, I went to the library after that post and checked out two books, one which I had on hold: Something Blue by Emily Giffin, and am now finished with that book- 4 down 16 to go!

Yes, I did just read four books in a row by the same author; creature of habit, I know. However, she has no other books for me to read until she comes out with her next book this summer. So, I am off to find some other great authors to read. I highly reccommed her, that is if you are in to complete chick-lit, like I am.

If you see these books on the book shelves, do not judge a book buy its cover. I passed these books at Barnes and Noble a hundred times, but it wasn't until my running friend reccommended them to me and my response was, "aren't they advice books on how to plan weedings, or plan for babies?" I asked this questions based on the titles Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and Baby Proof. She then told me that they were nothing like that, but just really good novels, so I decided to try them. If you do decided to read them, none of them go in order BESIDES Something Borrowed and Something Blue... you must read those two in that order. So, here are her other books:

Great author and book reccommendations are gracioulsy welcomed; it doesn't have to be chick-lit, I am open to anything.

I am enjoying my snowy President's Day... hope you are too!

Until next time,
H =)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snapshot... SUNDAY??

I tried to upload some pictures yesterday in honor of "Snapshot Saturday", but the internet was running slow and my patience level for that is negative ten. So, here is a picture in honor of my weekly "Snapshot Saturday". As I came home from the gym today (usual Sunday ritual) there was not a football game to turn on and watch, however, my husband turned on NASCAR (yuck, gag, choke). With that being said, I am nowcounting down the days until I can watch my cubbies. As you can see in the picture below, our house is divided; I love, love, love the Cubs and my husband loves the Red Sox. We have arguements over whose team is better, but we all know that titles prove that the Red Sox have more World Series titles. However, I believe that Wrigly Field is a MUCH BETTER ballpark than Fenway... at least the Cubs can win that battle. With all this being said, here is to the snow melting, warm weather, baseball, and sitting out on our deck... ahhh, its so close, but yet so far!

In other news, I finished my 3rd book of 2010; 17 more to go. North Carolina was absolutely FABULOUS and I have all intentions of posting about it this week; to be honest, I am still gathering and organizing all my thoughts. Other than that, Mr. Hoosier and I will enjoy a nice Valentine's dinner at one of our favorite Italian joints this evening, and better yet, we will both enjoy a day off due to President's day tomorrow.

Happy Heart Day, Friends!!!
Until next time,
H =)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Excitement All Around

This week I received my very first letter from my brother; I can't remember the last time I was so excited to get snail mail. I was incredibly impressed by his significantly improved penmanship, but more so impressed by the eloquence in his writing, and the positive attitude. I am certain that bootcamp is very difficult and often times absolute hell, but he seemed very positive and to be enjoying it immensely. In fact, he received one of the top jobs. He is a division leader, which means that he is in charge of 88 other guys, and is the "go to" man for his Chief. After speaking with a friend husband is a Chief at Navy bootcamp, she said that this job is a "big deal". He will be leading his group at graduation, he gets to carry a sword, and gets to have a collar device. With this job, he also has a chance to advance quicker. I am so proud of him! Before we know it, he will be graduating from bootcamp. I know that this experience is changing him for the better and making him a more responsible and ambitious man. I am going to write him again today, send him a valentine, and then get a newspaper tomorrow and send him an article from the Superbowl; even though he is rooting for the Saints because he hates the Colts. I continue to pray for his safety, courage, and knowledge.

As well all know, it is SUPERBOWL SUNDAY, and YES, I am excited as I will cheer on my TEAM to another LOMBARDI TROPHY. The Colts make me so happy! I love living in a city that has such a respectable football team on and off the field. The Colts bring so much to the city of Indianapolis! However, I am a little sad that this means that football season is over after today. I have thoroughly enjoyed my Sunday afternoons with my husband watching football, and keeping up with our fantasy football teams; which, I forgot to mention that I got second place in our league behind my father-in-law. So, here's to the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS!!! BELIEVE IN BLUE... I DO!!!

This week is going to be such a great week! Tomorrow I will wake up, go to work for a half of a day and then board the plane to Charlotte, NC. I have been waiting for this day since September when I decided to do it, to start an independent council of Girls on the Run in Hamilton County. This week I will be attending council training in Charlotte. I will be learning how to get my council up and "running" (no pun intended). I will also have the wonderful opportunity to meet the founder, Molly Barker. I know that my three days there are going to be busy, full of great information, and will instill an even stronger passion for Girls on the Run than I already have, but I can't wait!!! I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to work with such amazing woman to start this council. Here we go GIRLS ON THE RUN HAMILTON COUNTY!!!!

Until next time,
H =)

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Biggest Surprise of My Life

Over the last two days, and finishing today, I have been teaching my students to respond to a writing prompt in lieu of preparation for the ISTEP test. The prompt they had this time was to write about the biggest surprised they have ever faced; positive or negative. As I teach this to my students, I modeled for them how to write using of the biggest surprise of my life; the day Mr. Hoosier asked me to marry him. Now, of course I gave them the version that allows to know the basics, but the details are too personal for fourth and fifth graders.

As I have been writing this in my classroom, I have been thinking about it even more. My mom always tells me to write these things down when they are fresh so that I can always look back on them. However, its not as "fresh" as it once used to be, I still remember darn near ever detail of the day. Tonight, as I rested on the couch watching one of my all time favorite movies, P.S. I Love You, I again thought about that perfect day, June 18, 2009. So, I have decided what better thing to do than to write about; I will now always have the story of that day to share with other may it be children, new friends I meet, or just so that Mr. Hoosier and I can reminisce. So, here it goes...

"It was a Thursday evening. I was working an absolute dreadful summer job at a camp. We had plans to meet the Morgan's at the Nickel Plate for dinner that evening. This meeting was not an unusual occurance as the Nickel Plate is within walking distance from our home, we meet the Morgan's on a weekly or bi weekly basis, and we love the Nickel Plate as it was the destination of our first date.

So, I was driving home from work, swearing at traffic I am sure because I needed to get home quickly so I would have time to clean the house before we went to dinner. I decided to call my sister on the way home to see what she was doing. Again, not unusual. She said, "oh nothing, just straightening my hair, why?" Well geesh, I was just curious. Then, I asked why she was straightening her hair, and she said she was bored. Hmmm, again not unusual. I finally got home after traffic listened to my inappropriate language and moved out of the way so I could get home and clean the house before going to dinner. My wonderful, but neat-freak aunt was coming to stay with us so we could take her to the airport the next day and I had to have the house clean for her. So, Mr. Hoosier and I cleaned the house, and he kept telling me to "hurry up". I then replied with,"don't worry I will just wear my hair curly and throw on a pair of jeans and a tee shirt." His response, "no, you have time to straighten your hair and put on something cute, maybe like that cute new sun dress you just bought." "Really?" I thought to myself why does he care about that. I was certain it was just beacause he knows I don't really like my curly hair when we are going out, and my obsession with sun dresses. Little did I know it was because he knew I would have been furious if my pictures from our engagement would have been with my curly messy hair and my jeans with holes in the knees; oh, he knows me oh too well!

So, I hurried and got into the shower. When I got out, Mr. Hoosier was no where to be found. All I saw was a pink note on the bed with my name written on the envelope. The note said that he wasn't here and there was no use trying to find him. It told me to continue to get ready, and "look beautiful as always". When I was finished getting ready to go to the exercise park near the trail where we run and look under the balance beam for the next note. I was to also take the headphones he left because I needed them.

At this point, I had a feeling what might be happening, but I still wasn't sure. Afterall, he wouldn't propose without my family near and when I talked to my sister she was still at home and they live two hours a way. So, I continued to get ready. I hurried as fast as I could... all i wanted to do was run to the next note with my hair soaking wet, not make up, and my cami and shorts on, but I knew I needed to get ready "just in case". I snooped around the house a few times, but there were no signs. If you know me, you would know that this snooping isn't unusual.

I was finally ready, and went to my second note under the balance beam. I found it immediately. I opened it up and in it was a sweet note about how when we were at the IU game in February of 2008 he knew that the girl he had prayed for was sitting right next to him. In the note, also contained the IU ticket from that day. It directed me to turn continue on the trail and look under the slide for the next note. Well, this is where I was confused. There were many slides in the backyards of people living along the trail in our neighborhood; I didn't know which slide he was talking about. I started to get confused and frustrated, but it suddenly came to me.

I finally found the slide and the third envelope. In it was a nice/ sweet note about the role of music plays into our relationship, and how he swears I fell in love with him after his rendition of Dean Martin's Let it Snow on our first date as we were sitting at the bar enjoying a drink. In the envelope was also an ipod. The note told me to put in the headphones and select the playlist with my name because he had finally picked the perfect "song" for us. It said to then, walk back home and he would be waiting for me. So, I did this. The ipod played Tim McGraw's You're My Best Friend. I walked home crying uncontrolably with tears running down my face; I knew what was happening and I couldn't even believe it! When I entered our driveway there were rose petals leading to the door with a final note on the door. I opened it, read it, ran into the house and just hugged him. He was there, with candles and my favorite flowers surrounding the living room, waiting on one knee. He said many sweet words that I don't even remember, and I replied with a "YES, of course!" I couldn't believe it, it was the most perfect proposal. I of course had a million questions to ask him: where were you this whole time, who all knew about this, and how long have you been planning this. He told me we had one more thing to do and then he would answer the questions.

We then still proceeded to meet the Morgan's at the Nickel Plate for dinner. They knew what was going on and were waiting there to celebrate with us. As we walked to dinner, I tried to call my mom, my brother, my dad, my step dad, but no one answered their phone. I was furious! We walked into the Nickel Plate, the same place where 6 months prior we had our very first date, and there awaited my family, his family, the Morgan's, and our other friends Chad & Lauren to celebrate with us!

They ALL knew what was happening. My family had driven two hours on a week night to be there to celebrate the wonderful news. Mr. Hoosier had gone back home to ask both my mom and dad (since they are divorced) for their blessing to marry me. When he did this, he then told my mom about his plans and if she could come down to join us in the celebration.

We all celebrated the wonderful news. When dinner was over, we returned to our house with the Morgan's and enjoyed a bottle of champagne on our deck, made many phone calls, and sent a million text messages. I couldn't believe I was getting married to such an amazing man. My mom says it best, "we couldn't have made a better match for our daughter." The evening was truly spectacular and I knew that if our engagement was any sign to how the rest of our lives would be, it wouldn't be short of amazing!"

Twenty months, and an amazing wedding later, I still remember that day like it was yesterday. I am so blessed to wake up to my best friend each and every morning and to share my life with someone as patient, understanding, and caring as him. He TRULY brings out the absolute best in me. He makes me the happiest girl in the world!

Oh, and for those of you that are wondering... Mr. Hoosier was "hiding" in our neighbor's house the whole time while I was getting ready and watching for me. As soon as I walked out of the house, he came back to our house and got the flowers, candles, and ring ready. He is one sneaky guy; especially to be able to surprise a "snoop" like me!

Here is Mr. Hoosier @ the Nickel Plate, sitting in the exact place we had our first date, on the day we were engaged.

Until next time,
H =)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snapshot Saturday

I have been neglecting my "Snapshot Saturday" postings. So, today I decided to finally upload all my pictures from October 2009-January 2010 onto my computer. When I did this, I realized, "man, I need to get better at taking more pictures." So, let's add that to another goal for 2010. Anyway, enjoy some pictures. Happy Saturday... despite the cold, the sun is shining in Indiana... YAY!

Before my brother left for bootcamp, he wanted to take a ski/snowboard trip. So, my mom took all of us kids, and some of his friends. The first day we skiied and the second we went tubing. It was a blast! Thanks, Mom!

Mr. Hoosier and I enjoying our first Christmas Day at his parents.

Bailey and me on Christmas morning!

Us on New Year's Eve! Here's to a wonderful 2010!
Until next time,
H :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One Week Later...

One week ago, my brother left for the Navy, and my mom received a letter today. It was definitely a sigh of relief. However, the letter (the portion he wrote) was very short and basic, it is so great to know he is there and doing well.

It has been a difficult transition for my family all around. I know it's hard on my mom not having him around and not being able to pick up the phone and make sure he is okay. As for me, I often lie in bed at night and just ponder about his day, his feelings, and if he is scared or sad. I know that is very "big sister-like" of me, but that is just how I am. Mr. Hoosier tells me not to worry, but it's in my nature.

I do, however, have comfort in knowing that my brother thrives in structured, disciplined atmospheres, hence my belief in the reason he joined the Navy. After baseball was out of his life, it was hard for him without the structure, the discipline, the feeling of accomplishment, and the presence of teammates. What better place to get these back in your life than a branch of the military?

Despite my worrying, and mostly wondering, I am so proud of him. I am sure I will state this many times until the day he graduates from bootcamp. Speaking of bootcamp, in the letter we received his graduation date; he will be graduating on March 19th. My birthday is March 22, and I couldn't ask for anything better to see my brother graduate from bootcamp for my 26th birthday. So, Mr. Hoosier, myself, and my family will be spending the weekend in Chicago seeing my brother graduate and enjoying some time with him before he enters A School. Until then, I have comfort in knowing he is going to come out a changed man, for the better. I am so proud of him and love him so much.

Well, I am off to write him his first letter.

Until next time,
H =)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Running "Things" That Make Me Happy

I clearly write about random things in my blog.  After all isn't that what blogging is about; random thoughts?  Well, I don't just blog about random things, but I also read random blogs that vary from running, to design, to health, to my favorite radio station dj, to my idol (the founder of Girls on the Run), and mostly all things preppy, of course.  One blog I follow the Happy Runner  writes about all things running.  She is a true inspiration, and I even won a free running shirt on her blog- bonus!  Anyway today she posted ten things running related that made her happy, so I decided to copy.  What better things do I have to do right now then to do the same?  I could actually write my brother a letter, organize my third bedroom, or continue my goal to read more, but instead this is what I am doing... enjoy!

I've decided to list 10 running-related things that make me happy. So, here goes:
1.  Morning Runs- Yes, I am crazy and thoroughly enjoy morning runs; that is, when it isn't below freezing.  Whether its meeting my favorite running bud at the park at 5:30 to do our 4 mile pre-workday course, or heading out on the path by our house with Mr. Hoosier, morning runs ALWAYS get the day off to a great start!  Not to mention, when Mr. Hoosier and I do our morning runs, he usually cooks me two egg whites and one egg scrambled when we are finished.  
2.  My new, green running shorts- Mr. Hoosier got me these awesome, new kelly green nike running shorts for Christmas, and I love them.  They are like all my other running shorts (all Nike and the same style), just green!  
3. Race tee shirts- I am a huge nerd when it comes to race tee shirts; I always have to have one.  I don't even wear them half of the time, except for the long sleeve ones, but I always have to have one.  It is something about digging through my drawers and remember that certain race, that certain finish line, and that certain feeling.  However, I now have too many to fit in my tee shirt drawer so they are stacked else where.  Mr. Hoosier always asks me what I am going to do with them, and the answer is still uncertain.  Someday, I might make a quilt out of them.  Have you ever seen tee shirt quilts?  They are pretty cool; I think its a good idea.  But then, where would I put the darn quilt?  Until then, I will continue to LOVE my race tee shirts.
4.  My pink and white striped running socks- Between my favorite shorts and socks, my favorite running outfit may not coordinate, but I am okay with that.  After all, I have to be wearing something pink if I am running a race.  My pink socks are my favorite.  My mom bought them for me at the Indy Mini convention.  They are so comfortable, and of course PINK!
5.  My framed picture of my mom and I crossing the finish line at the 2009 Indy Mini-  Pretty self explanatory, my mom bought a picture of the two of us holding hands, crossing the finish line, and had it framed for me for Christmas.  It is pretty awesome;  it is in my "Girls on the Run Office", also known as the third bedroom.
6.  Finish lines in general- No matter if it is your PR, your worst time ever, you cross with an injury, or you are a spectator, finish lines are such a happy place.  You don't know ever runner's story, and that's it everyone has a different story and that is what makes finish lines so wonderful.  If you have crossed a finish line, you know that feeling; it's indescribable.
7. My running watch- Yes, it is pink and white, and no, it isn't a Garmin; it is just a cheap Target watch, but I love it.  It does exactly what I need it to, time my run and help me beat my time for a certain course I am running.  It is easy to use, and it has a light so I can see my time if I am finishing an early morning run.  Perfect for me.   
8.  Girls on the Run- Every single aspect of Girls on the Run; I just love it!  It is my absolute passion.  I never thought I could be so excited about something.  I can't even choose one thing about it that I love the most: I love crossing the finish line with my girls, I love watching the expressions on parents' faces, I love each and every practice, I love planning for the future of Hamilton County- I just LOVE GIRLS ON THE RUN!
9. Asics- I love Asics running shoes even after they're worn out and I wear them with jeans. 
10. Post Race Activities- Whether it is listening to a post-race band, driving home from a race and stopping to get coffee, stopping at the Farmer's Market with Mr. Hoosier to load up on some yummy post-race snacks (one of my favorite things to do), or taking a nap on the couch, activities after you complete a race are that much better!  Actually, the whole day is just fantastic
Bonus (because I can't choose which to take out): Logging my mileage- I love to log my mileage; it gives me a feeling of accomplishment.  I especially like to log my times with my mileage so that I can beat my previous time even if it is just by 10 seconds.  

Well, that is my list.  How about YOU try your own!

Until Next Time,
H =)