Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thankful Thursday ~ The Positivity Ripple Effect

At school, I teach kids social skills and life skills. I use a book called The Virtues Project: Educator's Guide to teach kids a different virtue word each week. Today, for Thankful Thursday, I decided to take a look at what my book says for the virtue of Thankfulness. Here is an excerpt:

"Thankfulness is being grateful for what you have. It is an attitude of gratitude for learning, loving, and being. It is appreciating the little things which happen around you and within you every day. It is having a sense of wonder about the beauty of this world. It is being aware of the gifts in your life. 

Thankfulness brings content ment. It helps you find the good things in whatever happens. ... With thankfulness, we keep a positive outlook.

Focus on the good things about your life and count your blessings often. Even when things go wrong, you can be thankful if you find the lessons to be learned. Let others give to you. Expect the best in every situation." 

Are there any lines in there that spoke to you specifically, or made you think about being thankful in a different way?

This is the bulletin board of sorts I made for our virtues in my classroom at the Elementary.
Can you find Thankfulness? 
I also liked this quote that was in my book, by someone named Peggy Jenkins: "The more we give, the more will come to us." I don't know who Peggy Jenkins is (and google didn't turn anything up eather) but I think we have all heard quotes like that one. The more we give, the more we receive. I think this is absolutely true. Since I've been trying to focus in 2015 on thankfulness and gratitude, I myself have been feeling like a happier, more content version of myself. Focusing on the positive is something I continually need to work on, but I think I am seeing the rewards in myself.

This week, I had the great honor of one of my recent Thankful Thursday posts being referenced in another friend's blog. Jane's blog is called The Home Place and is really great. I definitely recommend giving it a look! Jane works as a county extension agent in a nearby county in Montana, but grew up near here. In fact, she had actually babysat my husband and his sister when they were kids! She has been following my blog for some time and found that my post about showing gratitude for family members and on the farm fit in well with an upcoming extension activity she was promoting. You can check out her post here: http://31homeplace.blogspot.com/2015/02/transferring-your-farm-or-ranch-to-next.html. I think it's great that my post fit in with hers and hopefully the message of positivity, gratitude, and thankfulness will continue to spread!

How are you spreading positivity this week?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Weekend Activities and Our First Calf of 2015!

It was another busy weekend this past weekend here on the farm!

Tom and Carol left for their Hawaii vacation last week, so Jeff and I got busy doing the final prep for calving. Our official due date is March 1, but the calves can and do come early every year! It was time to get our rears in gear and get the cows sorted and organized.

Even with no calves born yet, it began to feel like calving already on Saturday evening. Jeff and I walked through the herd that afternoon and noticed several that were looking like they were pretty close to calving. The weather had taken a nosedive from our sunny 50 degree temps and was down to single digits, with overnight lows projected to be below zero and with some wind. Sometimes pressure changes induces labor in animals that are close to calving anyway, so with that in mind, we decided we had better start staying over at Tom and Carol's and checking the cows a few times in the night beginning Saturday night.

Sunday we got up and began working in earnest on feeding and sorting the cows into their respective pens right away. Right now, our entire herd is sorted into five groups. The feeder calves are in one pen. Bulls are in a pen of their own. First and second-time calvers are in their own pen. Cows that look like they'll be in the second cycle of calving, or late-calvers as we call them, had their own space. Everyone else was in a big pen of their own.
Some of our bulls. We have four. 
It took some time to get the animals fed and sorted into their proper home for the next several weeks, plus a few more chores and organizational tasks thrown in here and there throughout the day. We also laid down some straw in our two busiest calving pens. The cows will munch on it a bit, but mostly we put the straw down to give them a warm and dry place to lay down. Sunday night's overnight lows were pretty brisk again, and we still thought we had some animals who could calve at any time.
My favorite cow: Z-35. So pretty. She'll have her second calf this year, so she's in the "Young Cows" pen.
We got all our work done on Sunday evening, watched the Oscars, and went to bed. Jeff went out twice in the night to check the herd. The next morning, Monday, in between his morning 6:00 a.m. check and when he came out later to do chores, he found this little guy--
First calf is a little bull. His mama is Y-14. 
His mama had clearly had him quickly and all on her own. Our first calf of the year! Hard to tell in this photo-- he was so young that his mama hadn't completely cleaned him yet-- but he is all red with a white stripe down the center of his face. A little bull calf. Pretty cute little guy! Only about 99 calves to go...

How did you spend your weekend?
Harvey and Abby had a GREAT weekend playing and rolling around in the straw! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Fitness Update

I haven't written about fitness in a while and I do have some readers who follow this blog mainly for that reason. So, today I thought I'd give a little fitness update!

I don't have any races scheduled until late May, when I'm hoping to do the Ulm Buffalo Jump 10K on May 17.  I have still been running, however! My mileage isn't very high right now and I'm only getting in about three days a week, especially since we've been doing more skiing this winter, and travelling. But, when I do get a run in, it has been going well. Yesterday I did 4.6 on our gravel road and it went better than expected, especially since I haven't done anything that long in quite a while. If you're curious about my racing intentions for this year, you can read my post titled Tentative 2015 Race Schedule. 

I am also continuing to work in strength training a few times a week and yoga a few times a week, in addition to planks almost daily. I can REALLY see a difference in my running since I've dedicated myself to additional core work. I'm a complete believer in the plank.

We have ramped up our participation in winter sports this year a bit. Jeff and I have gone skiing five days (six for Jeff) this winter and loved it each and every time! We are both having a ton of fun exploring this winter snowsport hobby and are improving our skills each time we ski. You can read some of my ski posts below:
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Getting ready to head down the mountain at Whitefish!
Photo courtesy of Skyler Pester. 
Glacier New Year-- Nordic Skiing in and around Glacier Park.
Snow Fun -- Snowshoeing and Nordic Skiing at our own home!!!
More from Glacier-- Alpine skiing at Whitefish, Nordic skiing at Essex.
Downhill Skiing Like a Local-- Alpine skiing at Showdown and Bridger Bowl.
Red Lodge Weekend-- Alpine skiing with our friends from North Dakota.

So far this winter, Days on Downhill Skis = 5, Days on Nordic Skis = 4, Days on Snowshoes = only 1.

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Caught in the action of Nordic skiing at Essex!
Photos courtesy of Skyler Pester.

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Something else that's new this year for me is a weekly workout group I have joined with some friends. It was started by my beautiful friend Adria probably about six weeks ago. The idea was to give one another some accountability and social incentive to exercise. We're getting in better shape, but also having a blast together, laughing and joking around the whole time. Since there are no actual gyms within many, many miles of where we live, Adria had to get a little creative. We are meeting in the gymnasium of one of the old school buildings in our small town. The school is no longer in use, thanks to school consolidations, but the gym is still used occasionally as a sort of community hall for weddings and events. For us, it is being used as an actual gym to workout once a week! Adria devised five different stations, with two exercises at each station. Each station focuses on a different part of the body-- core, arms, more arms, legs/cardo, legs. We rotate between the stations and jog two laps around the gym between each one, while rockin' out to 80s music on Pandora! It takes us about 40 minutes to get through the whole workout. It's really a blast and a good workout, too!

Lastly, again this year, Jeff and I are participating in Shape Up Montana.  SUM runs for three months, February -April. This is our third year on a team. We are with his parents, his sister and her husband, my friend Adria, one of her friends from her hometown, and another local friend named Sarah. With this being the third year, we really knew what to expect from the program and how we can maximize our success. Basically, each person on a team earns points for the activity they do. As a team, we are actually competing against other teams from all over the state, based on how many points per person our team scores. The competition aspect does create a bit more motivation, but for me, my goals are thus:

- Score more points each week than in the previous week.
- Score more total points this year than I did last year (Last year I scored 492 points).
- Continue to motivate our team as a Team Captain.
- Have fun and find new ways to be active and healthy!

SUM also has weekly does weekly challenges that are either activity based or focused on healthy eating. If a person completes the challenge, they earn a bonus 10 points for that week and are entered into a drawing for prizes. Last week our challenge was to get together with some teammates for a healthy potluck. I did the challenge, and guess what.... I won a prize!
In my third year doing SUM I finally won a prize! ha!
So, that's the skinny on what I'm doing to stay in shape as 2015 begins to unfurl! As my 10K race in May gets closer, I'll make a specific training plan probably when it gets to be about 8 weeks out.

What all do you have planned to be active in 2015?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thankful Thursday ~ Gotta Love Small Towns!

OK. I'll admit it. I watch The Bachelor. I do! I'm not ashamed. Yes, I know it's canned and corny, sensationalized and silly. But you know what? I find that when I'm watching this show, I am smiling. How many TV shows make us smile these days? The Bachelor/Bachelorette makes me smile, and that is the main reason why I like it and keep coming back to it.

This season I have been particularly interested in The Bachelor because he is a farmer AND he's from my home state of Iowa! I really wanted to tune in and see both how Iowa was represented and how the small town, rural, agricultural lifestyle was portrayed on TV. Obviously, they don't go in depth about farming and agriculture on the show, but I do think, so far, Chris (The Bachelor) has shown that he is proud of being a farmer and is standing behind his lifestyle admirably. As he should! As should any farmer!

The show has been a little less forgiving on the small town he is from: Arlington, IA. In a recent episode, the remaining ladies had a chance to see exactly what Arlington, population 400 or so, is like. As I watched, I had two viewpoints swimming through my mind. One was as someone who did not grow up in a teeny tiny town and knows what it is like to live in a big city. The other was knowing now what it is that really makes small towns special.
Image source: www.tmz.com.
Some of the ladies shown walking around Arlington, and reacting to what they see.
In the show, the ladies have mixed reactions (or at least, that's what they show on TV. Who knows what was done or said that didn't make the final cut to be aired...) to Arlington. Some of them can see the appeal of small town life and others are shocked at the lack of big city amenities. (What did you expect, ladies?!) I think what struck home the most for me was how Chris talked about his town and showed it off. He seemed like he had some trepidation and nervousness over their reactions. On one date, he talked about feeling a little sad about his town losing businesses and feeling sort of run down. I can relate to that feeling here in our small Hi-Line towns. At least Rudyard (similar or maybe slightly larger population as Arlington) still has a cafe and a seasonally-operated movie theater!

When the Bachelor toured his date around his town, they pointed out that it was completely dead. No traffic. No people outside. And with all the defunct businesses boarded up and empty, it really looked and felt like a ghost town. Where was everybody? At the local Friday night football game!

Now, this is where the actual meat of my Thankful Thursday post comes in. If there's one thing I have learned about small towns it is that the whole community really gets behind the local school's sports teams! Here, right now, it's basketball season.  The population of our towns may not be big, but you can bet that the gym will be PACKED for a home basketball game! Even our movie theater acknowledges that small town sports are king and closes during basketball season. They know they won't get any business because folks are over at the school watching the game!  Sporting events, especially in small towns, are what really brings people together. Everyone loves to cheer on the local kids and feel pride in our community and schools!

This week at school, our basketball teams are headed to their District Tournament. Both Boys and Girls have a chance to knock of some rival teams and cause a few upsets, making it deep into the tourney, and hopefully on to Divisionals next week. At school, we had a big pep rally and assembly to send them off, planned by the parents of the Senior basketball players. I was really surprised at the turnout. Many of the players' families were present, but there was a decent number of community members there, too, just to cheer on the teams.

As the assembly went on, I really felt a great sense of pride and appreciation for this small town, this school, and this community. So, this week, I am officially stating how grateful I am to be living in a small town that takes its youth and its sports so seriously, and also makes it fun to cheer on the local team. Small towns like Rudyard (North Star Schools and community) and Arlington, IA are really where it's at when it comes to local sports. The businesses on Main Street may be closed or only open part-time, but that doesn't mean the soul of the place is dead. After having lived here and worked in the school, truly experienced what this time of year is like and the support that comes from everyone in the community, I know I am thankful and proud to call this place home! Small town that it is. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Skiing At Red Lodge

Today's post is all about the fun weekend we had skiing in Red Lodge, MT! We made plans a long time ago with friends of ours from North Dakota to meet up for a ski trip and Red Lodge was the perfect place because it was more or less meeting in the middle for both of us.

Jeff and I drove down on Thursday night last week, after I was done with school. We stayed at the Pollard Hotel, which is right on Broadway in the center of town. It was a neat, old historic hotel that had been restored, with an excellent bar and restaurant on site. We ate in the restaurant on Friday evening. I had a really good dish of clams in a chorizo broth and Jeff had a steak. Great food!

Saturday evening, Valentine's Day, we enjoyed drinks at a lovely wine bar called Bridge Creek Backcountry Kitchen and Wine Bar. We had actually stopped there for wine and appetizers before dinner the first night, too. We had the cheese plate, which was good, but the tuna steak tartare was outstanding! The wine we had each time was really great, too. Even though our dinner at the Pollard was really good, after discussing it later, Jeff and I both agree that we sort of wish we had made our full dinner reservation for this place instead. They had some really interesting looking dishes on the menu and again, the wine selection was great, too. Next time!

Our main dinner event on Saturday night for Valentine's Day was reservations at Carbon County Steakhouse.  I noticed on our way in to our table that this place was a Wine Spectator award winner. It definitely lived up to expectations! We enjoyed appetizers of cast iron seared mussels with drawn butter, which was perfectly cooked and so, so delicious. Then, we each chose a beef entree for our main course. Jeff had a steak with crab and hollandaise sauce, I had beef strogonoff, and our friends shared a Delmonico.  Everything was outstanding! I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting Red Lodge, and I can't wait to go back myself!

I didn't take any photos of the food and wine portion of our trip because I wanted to enjoy dinner and our company without pulling out my cell phone. You'll just have to click on the website links to get an idea of what they have and imagine it for yourself! 

I did get a few photos of our skiing adventures, though! 
Standing at the summit of the mountain!
The ever-flattering ski photo... 
The weather while we were in town was unbelievably warm-- in the 40s and 50s! And sunny! Definitely spring skiing conditions. I'll admit that I was really skeptical that the snow would be any good while we were there, but it far exceeded expectations. The snow was soft and fun, easy to ski! 

Jeff and I both worked on a lot of skills to continue getting better at skiing. He's now much more of a daredevil than I am, taking on black diamond mogul runs. I did get better at maneuvering around bumps this time, which I am proud of, but not as confident as he is. I still find that I love to fly fast down groomers more than anything else! I think over the course of the two days, I'm most happy with how I continued to regain confidence and skill on my skis. 
Clockwise from top left: Tyler and Shannon riding the chair ahead of us, Jeff after pounding out a black diamond mogul run, view over the side of the mountain, Valentine's day sign, and ski selfie!
The most unfortunate part of the skiing was that about half the mountain was closed due to lack of snowfall. We would have loved to have been over on those faces to check out that terrain, but the mountain was big enough to keep us entertained over the course of two days, especially as our skills and confidence continued to grow. They desperately needed snow at Red Lodge and we did have to be pretty cautious as we skied to be on the lookout for rocks, grass, dirt, and bushes poking out. All the same, as I mentioned, the snow conditions far exceeded my expectations and the overall lack of snow did not keep us from having a great time! 
Having a great time!
What really made the weekend great, more than the skiing and the excellent food and drink we enjoyed, was spending time with our friends Tyler and Shannon! We have been really lucky to meet them through our involvement with Farmers Union and this was the perfect way to get to know them even better. We had some great conversation and some really fun times, whether chillin' at the chalet on the mountain, at the hotel, or over a delicious dinner. It seems like we are all compatible travel companions. When you find people you travel well with, you should hold on to them! Just too bad we don't live closer together! Although, Red Lodge makes a pretty fantastic meeting place! 
Left: Jeff and Tyler skiing down a long run. Top right: Jeff starting his hockey stop. Bottom Right: Shannon cruising on her snowboard!
Our Red Lodge weekend was definitely a success and a lot of fun on many levels. Now, Jeff and I are not sure if we'll have another chance to go skiing this winter. Things get pretty busy for us as we are heading into calving season. There may be a chance to sneak down to Showdown one more time-- you never know. For now, we're not packing up the skis for the winter yet! 

How was your weekend? Any highlights?
Jeff had flowers and chocolate delivered to our room on Saturday afternoon.
Big surprise when I walked in and saw them!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thankful Thursday ~ Gratitude at the Workplace

"A culture of sincere recognition not only helps people feel better about themselves but also where they work. ... Voicing gratefulness is a foundational habit on which a positive culture is built. The resultant fun, deeper relationships and enjoyment of one another is the evidence of this positive culture." ~ Lance Woodbury, in the article "A Job Well Done," in Progressive Farmer.

Kicking off this week's Thankful Thursday post with an excerpt from an article I read in my most recent issue of the Progressive Farmer magazine. The whole article was about the importance of telling those you work with that you appreciate their efforts, and that it is even more important in a family operation, such as farming often is. I could not agree more!

Many of us have held a job somewhere in our past where we have likely felt under appreciated. I had a boss one time for about a two-year period who was constantly extremely negative. I was just stepping into my role as a promotion and felt like all I ever heard was what I was doing wrong, or how our performance as a team was lacking. It seemed like I never heard about anything I was doing right! Even when I thought I was following instructions, this boss would point out some minute step she would have done that I missed, or that I had indeed followed instructions but hadn't exceeded them. I was learning and didn't feel confident that I knew what I was doing anyways, so hearing only about how many mistakes I made was really demoralizing. Further, it made me feel like I couldn't ask for help because she would likely jump on that, too! Have you ever had a supervisor or coworker like that?

Conversely, I have also had coworkers who have been really awesome. People whom I have been sad to leave. These are the people who are constantly building up, providing opportunities, encouraging individual pursuit of goals in others, and who just genuinely seem to care. People like this want to get to know you as a person, what your life is like outside of the workplace. People like this know that when their coworkers feel valued and appreciated, they'll be happier at their jobs and work harder.

On a farm, our coworkers are often our family. Sometimes being around family 100% of the time is more difficult than being around coworkers who aren't related to us. Why? It is so easy to take for granted that our family members know that we love and appreciate them for who they are, let alone the hard work they may be putting in on the farm. We forget to actually verbalize our appreciation and thanks for family members contributions because they already know we love them, right?

I can tell you that it's impossible to tell someone you appreciate them too many times. It can't be done. I make it my goal every day to try to tell my husband thank you for something he has done on our farm or in our house that day. Even simple things that are part of his routine, such as feeding the dog. He still takes the time to do it, and doesn't let it slide. I try to tell him thank you. Sometimes he looks at me funny, like, "Honey, you don't have to thank me for doing my job." But I do it anyway.

Recently, Jeff and I were invited by his parents to attend their annual meeting with their accountant and their lawyer. We were asked to attend because we are continuing the ongoing discussion of transition. What will the future look like as Tom and Carol transition away from farming full time and Jeff and I take over? There are a lot of financial and legal considerations to ensuring the transition process runs smoothly.

We all spent quite a bit of time discussing options and weighing pros and cons, both legal and financial. I'll readily admit that some of the jargon was over my head, but what really struck me was the overall atmosphere of the meeting was one of mutual respect and gratitude for one another. I felt lucky to be in a family where it is possible to sit down at a table as four people involved in a family land transition, with everyone feeling like their voice could be heard. No arguments occurred, and everything really went very smoothly. This is not always the case in family farm transition talks. Even the lawyer and accountant admitted by the time our meeting was over that the whole thing went very smoothly and they had both been in meetings like this that had gone much, much worse.

Building a positive culture on a farm or in the workplace ultimately is the key to success. Invest in your family members, coworkers, and employees, even if their one in the same, because they are your best asset. They're also likely the most irreplaceable. Building people up will ultimately lead to positive transitions, growth, and forward moving and forward thinking companies, businesses, or family farms. Say the wrong thing, and it only takes one wrong thing sometimes, and your people won't forget it. Saying the right thing, such as "Thank You," "I appreciate what you do here," or "You matter to me," is an investment in your people that reaps boundless rewards, whether your coworkers are family or not.

What are you thankful for this week? With whom is it most difficult for you to show your appreciation?




Wednesday, February 11, 2015

30 Things About Me LinkUp

www.therightfits.com
In honor of my 300th post to this blog (which was actually a few posts ago), I decided to participate in this link up that my blogosphere friend Jessie at The Right Fits did. It's simple and fun-- 30 Things About Me!  I decided on 30 things because I'm 30 years old and it's ten percent of 300, to celebrate my 300th post.

1. I was born, raised, graduated high school and college in Ames, IA. Central Iowa, a bit north of Des Moines.  Both my parents were also born and raised in Iowa (but not in Ames) and both also attended Iowa State University.

2. I have one younger brother. He attends school at University of Iowa and is pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. His research involves developing treatment for Cystic Fibrosis patients. My brother is amazingly smart, and also really funny. We have a very similar sense of humor.

3. In college at Iowa State University, I was a double major in Apparel Design and French. In college, I did a summer internship in Outerwear Product Development at Burberry in New York City. I also did a study abroad in Lyon, France. Both were priceless experiences.

4. I began working in retail in 2002, right after graduating from high school. I worked at Eddie Bauer, and stayed with the company for ten years before quitting in 2011.

5. While working at EB, I began as a Sales Associate, then worked my way up to Assistant Store Manager.  I started working at the store in Ames, IA, and eventually transferred to Jackson, WY, then to Bozeman, MT.  The two years that I lived in Jackson, WY were a huge learning experience for me. I wouldn't trade that time, but I also wouldn't go back to it.

6. My name is actually Katie. Not Katherine, Katrina, or anything else. Just Katie. My mom calls me Kate.

7. It was while living in Jackson that I learned how to ski! Living in Jackson and learning how to ski, and also taking up snowshoeing, made me realize how much I really do love winter and snow.
Ski selfie, circa 2008.
8. While living in Jackson, I joined eHarmony, which is how I met the man who is now my husband Jeff!

9. When I first met Jeff, I was living in Jackson and he was living in Bozeman, MT. We would drive four hours one way to see each other. Thankfully, the drive was through some of the most scenic land in our entire nation, and the drive (usually) went by quickly!

10. The first time Jeff and I met was 4th of July. We like to joke that "there were fireworks" right from the start. Har har har!

11. When I moved to Bozeman and transferred to the Eddie Bauer store there, I moved in to a condo with Jeff's sister, her boyfriend (now husband), and Jeff's best friend. Meanwhile, Jeff moved up to the farm. At this point, we began to have to travel five hours one way to see each other.

12. Jeff and I never lived in the same place until we got married in 2011. This coincides, of course, with when I moved to the farm and also quit working at Eddie Bauer.

13. I really miss living in Bozeman, but we take many trips back there because Jeff's sister and her husband live there now. We also go frequently in the fall for MSU Bobcat Football! Go Cats!
Bobcat Homecoming 2011.
14. I have no background in farming or agriculture, but now I live on a farm in extremely rural Montana. The nearest town is a 25 minute drive away and the nearest grocery store is a 50 mile drive from our house.

15. My first job after moving to this area of Montana was working in Collections at the local clinic. I did not like that job much at all, but enjoyed many of the people I worked with.

16. I am now working in our local school. My official job title is Behavioral Intervention Specialist. What this means is that I work with kids to help build skills they need to succeed at life, sort of like a guidance counselor. I teach kids about feelings, how to express themselves in a healthy way, and I work with them to build confidence. My job is really tough some days but also extremely rewarding.

17. I also have the great fortune and joy of being an Assistant Track and Field coach. This is my favorite "job" I have ever had. I love being a track coach and I don't ever want to give it up.
Me (far left, in a hat) with the other coaches and the Girls team, which took third place at State last year.
18. My love of track began in 7th grade when I first participated in track in Middle School. I found that I was a naturally good sprinter and did pretty well in track all the way through high school. I was awarded "Most Improved Athlete" each of my four years as a high school trackster, and was nominated as a team captain my senior year.

19. My sophomore year in high school, I tried out for the swim team in effort to get out of being in fall semester P.E. I actually made the team, and again improved rapidly to become a pretty good swimmer and was also elected captain of the swim team my senior year.

20. As a kid, I also participated in softball and basketball through 8th grade. Ultimately, I let my own lack of self-confidence in those sports eliminate me from continuing on with them. I now think that if I had believed in myself a little more, I probably had enough talent and, most of all, ethics to work hard in practice, that I think I would have done well in either sport by the end of high school.

21. I transitioned to distance running in college as a way to stay in shape. In 2006, I made a goal to run in a 5K race each calendar month of the year. Iowa has A LOT of race opportunities, and I think I made my goal in almost every month. This is when I ran my All Time Best 5K time of 24:04.

22. I got away from running when I moved to Jackson in 2007, but that's when I picked up skiing, hiking, and snowshoeing to stay active.

23. In February 2009 I tangled with a tree in a skiing accident and tore my ACL. I had reconstructive surgery within weeks of when it happened and began physical therapy. This is when I realized how much I missed running-- it felt at times like I could never get back to running safely again.
This is the inside of my knee.
24. In the immediate aftermath of having knee surgery, I developed a very large blood clot in my left (surgery) leg. The blood clot was more painful than the surgery and was the most intense pain I have ever felt.

25. It took me years after knee surgery to get back into running. This past year, 2014, was the most running I have done post- surgery. I ran in 9 races in 2014. Seven of those races were 5Ks and two were 10Ks.

26. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but am more than capable of taking down an entire box of Cheezits.

27. My Co-worker at school recently gave me a t-shirt that reads: Introverts Unite... occasionally...in small groups...for very limited periods of time. This shirt is perfect for me because I am definitely an introvert. This doesn't mean that I don't like people, it just means I need time alone to recharge and being around large groups of people can be draining on me.

28. My Instagram is filled with images of runners and running. I love Oiselle and their athletes. I also have more than a few Vizsla feeds that I follow. As well as some family and friends.

29. One bad habit I am trying to give up is being too hard on myself. That's why I do Thankful Thursday posts each week. I'm trying to re-train my brain to think positive thoughts!

30. Even though it can be a hassle to live so far away from town, my husband and I talk frequently about how there's no place either of us would rather be than right where we are!