Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ten Reasons I love the BIG 10 10K {Curing #Notivation Link Up}

Hey everyone!
We have been home for 2 days and I'm already missing Chi Town! One great way to bring back those good vibes of the Windy City is to write a little bit about the awesome race we participated in! I'm linking up with Mal Smiles this Tuesday for a Curing #NOtivation Link Up. Through instagram I found out she also had a friend that was at the race :) Alex and I have some great memories to add to 2013 and some pretty funny stories.

One humorous story happened to Alex while he was running and he told me about it afterwards and I nearly spit out my bottled water ;) He reached out for a cup of liquid (he thought it would be water) during the race and it turns out it was Gatorade. He and I agree that really the only thing that you can handle during a run is water and that warm sugary Gatorade just doesn't quench your thirst. Well he ended up spilling it down his entire shirt but that isn't even the funny part. He had been talking to a guy during the race that was running alongside of him. After Alex spilled the Gatorade and made the comment "Oh I hate Gatorade, it just doesn't quench your thirst and it is too sugary" they started talking about their jobs. Alex shared what he did for a living and then asked what he did for a living and the guy surprisingly replied, "Oh I work for Gatorade!" HAHA!! uh OH! Alex was shocked and I have a smirk on my face just typing about. But the guy brushed it off and agreed that when you are running it isn't the best when you are expecting to get a cup of water and he agreed that "Propel" flavored water is a lot better before or after a race. But that is a story we had fun sharing with our friends and family :)
BUT on to the TOP 10 LIST...

10 // This is only the 2nd year for the Big 10 race and they have more than doubled in size from the first one. There were 14,000 Participants!!

9 // 10Ks are a great challenge for me and a big accomplishment. I thought I would never be able to do even 4 continuous miles without stopping and now I am completing 6.4

8 // The race is broadcast on the Big Ten Network and Alex's brother recorded it for us so that we could possibly get a glimpse of ourselves at the race.

Photo from race day on the BTN. Check out that time!! 

7 // It was very well organized. I guess from a organization that televises sporting events this was to be expected but the process was very smooth. We didn't have to pick up our registration packets because they were mailed to us. They had "corrals" set up for a wave start based on your 10k time you entered when you signed up. Alex and Tim were in Corral B...and I was back in Corral I ;) Oh and the course was as long as it said it was..not like that sham 80's run I participated in that was only 2.4 miles instead of 3.2

6 // The Fans! It was great to be a part of a huge event that compiled different schools from around the country. Since Nebraska was one of the farthest schools from Chicago and they have only been in the BIG 10 for a couple years there wasn't a lot of people from the Cornhusker state. As I was waiting for the race to start they were announcing all the different schools and people would shout out when their school was mentioned. They said "Nebraska" and one kid next to me said "They don't even go here!!" HAHA! I couldn't help but laugh at the Mean Girls movie reference and the fact that we weren't really welcomed ;) He looked at me and said "oh I'm sorry.." and I told him that is was totally fine because the Nebraska shirt was just a cover up and I was an Iowa girl at heart ;)

Husker Crossbones

5 // You can look at your results and standings among others. I got 5823rd with a time of  1:07:15 (WOOT WOOT!) I told my friend that I got first in the Nebraska 5ft and under division though ;) Alex got 1085th place with a time of 48:53

4 // You get a Medal for participating and the guys that hand it to you even do a little bow as they present it to you..Made me chuckle! I felt like Shawn Johnson a little bit ;) It is a great souvenir that Alex and I can cherish on our 50th wedding anniversary when we are no longer capable of running a 10K

3 // From the Shirts to the free sunglasses, there was a lot of fun stuff that race participants got. I love the BTN draw string bags! I felt like the race entry more than paid for itself!

on the far left is a "bag" water bottle to take on trail runs!
2 // The Fan Fest Tailgate! One Free Beer and Brat for participants and a great atmosphere to chill at after the long run. All of the school mascots were dancing around and there was a 40 meter sprint and a field goal kicking area which I completely embarrassed myself at!
Now keep in mind I had never done this before..And like Alex says in the video, I'm a dancer and although I'm pretty graceful I don't have the best coordination when you add a ball into the mix. 

For a girl that doesn't like beer, it didn't taste too bad!
GOooo BIG Red!!

 AND..The #1 reason I love the Big 10K ..Well that's easy, It was in CHICAGO!! By far my favorite City in the USA. Only a 7 hour drive from Omaha and the last time I was there was about 4 years ago. The race was right along Lakeshore Drive with Lake Michigan in view. The weather was perfect because it was a little overcast and the city atmosphere was just perfect! I mean look at these great pictures after the race with the skyline in the background! 

It's taking all I got to Flex!
Exhausted after the race...Hold me up Jack!

So next year I highly recommend you join us for the BIG 10K because I'm going to make it a tradition in our family :) visit BTN BIG10 for more info!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Paleo Update

Happy Sunday everyone!
I'm writing from the car on our way back from Chicago! We had a fantastic trip and I will be sure to fill you in on all the race details and share photos! For now I just wanted to jot down some of my feelings about the Paleo diet I started at the end of June. I have nothing but positive thoughts on that diet and although it might not be easy for some I foud it pretty user friendly ;) I of course had my cheat days because I had 3 vacations planned for July but for the most part I feel that I have changed my diet for the better!
Since the first month is over I wanted to tailor the diet to my lifestyle a little more so that I can stay on track and be successful.
Here are a few things I will do
1 // still enjoy my lattes with skim milk but try to only have one a week
2 // have either one bowl of cereal (with almond milk) or one piece of 100% whole wheat toast a day
3 // allow 2 days a week where I can have sweets. I of course won't eat these in excess on those days but deriving myself of chocolate is just not a good idea for me or other around me (enter one grumpy Lauren)
4 // small portion of pasta one day a week. I can honestly say I did not have pasta the entire time I did my 30 days of paleo. And even though I missed it sometimes I could have a sweet potato instead to try and curve my cravings. The night before starting my diet I had a large helping of Sgt. Peffers that really hit the spot!!
I gained a lot of help from my friend Trisha (her boyfriend is a personal trainer) for the paleo diet. I found myself texting and emailing her questions about foods that I could and couldn't have. 

My digestive system felt great and I enjoyed having more energy than I did when I tried the low-carb diet. If you have any questions or tips about the paleo diet feel free to comment! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Posting to stay awake..

Hi everyone and Happy Hump day! If you have seen the commercial with the camel going around the office on Hump Day I'm sure it has made you smile! I always think of it on Wednesday now :) I'm finishing up my first of three shifts and trying to stay awake for the remainder. My bed is calling my name and even though the shift has gone by fast, it now seems to be dragging. I had some interesting patients tonight and wanted to write about a few new diagnoses that I had never heard about before. This may seem boring for you non-health care workers but I found it to be pretty informative.
Concrete Burns // This patient had significant burns from concrete years ago and he is still having difficulties with them. He had to have a skin graft which is pretty common treatment for extensive burns. When concrete is dry the compound in it is harmless, however when it is dry the Calcium Hydroxide is very alkaline and creates a burn on the acidic skin. Burns can come from concrete, grout, stucco, plaster or mortar. This is why people who work with cement need to wear long sleeve shirts, gloves and pants at all times. I was going to put pictures of the burns on here but I will let you Google image it if you are really curious because it is not a pretty sight.
Smouldering Myeloma // Another patient of mine had a history of this specific type of myeloma which is in essence dormant but can cause 4 specific things - elevated calcium level, renal failure, anaemia, and bone lesions. This type of myeloma is a type of inactive multiple myeloma which people are more familiar with. There can still be many complications with smouldering myeloma and follow-up with a doctor is recommended every 3-6 months. People with smouldering myeloma have a higher risk of developing multiple myeloma anywhere from months to years of a diagnosis of smouldering myeloma.
So yes that I what I do when I am bored at work and trying to stay awake. I sometimes like to compare my patients' symptoms to research articles. I know..I'm a nerd! I will have more interesting things for you later this week like a recap of our wonderful vacation in Boji :)


Thursday, July 18, 2013

5 Reasons why we Love Wall Drug!

Our last stop on our family vacation was to Wall Drug in Wall, SD. If you haven't heard of this famous stopping point them I am very surprised! The Black Hills/Badlands and Wall Drug go hand in hand and I'm so glad my dad and I decided to stop there! The rest of my family was ahead of us and we were supposed to meet at Wall Drug for lunch but they went past the exit so it was just Dad and I that experienced this wonderful tourist site. So here are five reasons my dad and I came up with that make Wall Drug so great!
Dad enjoying lunch at Wall Drug after a long motorcycle ride.
1 // It all started with a prayer. Ted & Dorothy bought a little drug store in a town that was sworn to be "Godforsaken" by their relatives. Times were tough and in December of 1931 it didn't seem like business would pick up but with Dorothy's idea of advertising "Free Water" business soon began rolling in. Their determination came from lots and lots of prayers and they vowed to believe no town was ever "Godforsaken" - there was always Hope!
2 // Free Coffee & Donuts for Veterans Any company that values our veterans is a great one! Not far from the Historic Mount Rushmore, Wall Drug takes pride in the Land of the Free and the people that have sacrificed their lives for America. I strongly believe in any type of perks for our soldiers. Even though free coffee and donuts might not sound like much..I'm sure it is greatly appreciated by anyone who has served our country.
3 // Workers from all over the world. Have you ever been to a National Park or an Amusement Park that has college age students from all over the world working for a summer there. I love those types of places filled with different dialects and friendly faces! I like to look at the name tags that have their home country listed and see how far they have come for just one summer internship. We had servers from Thailand and the Czech Republic when we went there!
4 // Free Ice Cold Water & 5 cent Coffee. What a steal! Now I know what you are thinking, "Water should always be free and I'm sure that 5 cent coffee tasted horrible" But some places make you pay for a cup of water and don't get me started on bottled water. And the coffee was delicious! (and I know my coffee!)
Free H2O, cheap Coffee and World Famous Doughnuts! (oh and Beer for dad)
5 // Genius Advertising. Their first sign was for free ice cold water which got Wall Drug on the map. But their simple yet steady advertising as you drive along the interstate is pretty smart. I like to think of it in comparison to an info-commercial because the advertisement doesn't say a lot of fancy stuff, it just repeats it over and over again and by the end of the commercial you're thinking...I should probably check that out just for curiosities sake! Wall Drug even has signs in Japan and Africa stating how many miles to the Famous Wall Drug Store! All those signs cost the company an estimated $400,000 on billboards every year. Not to mention the bumper stickers found on thousands of cars in America!



So if you are in the Wall Drug area be sure to stop by because you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

2 Trips {Tuesday Topics Link Up}

I'm linking up with Lauren @ Life, Love, Lauren for a Tuesday Topic. My choice in 2 trips is very easy! My most memorable trips are to Australia my Sophomore year in College and Tanzania the summer after my Junior year in College. These trips are so memorable and filled my digital camera up with many photos! Lets go down memory lane and half way around the world to remember these once in a lifetime adventures!

Australia - May 2008

Beautiful scenery!
At Morningside College you are required to take a May term sometime during your four years there. My friends and I chose the most expensive May term that Morningside had to offer because we knew we wouldn't have the chance to go on a trip like this again! I went with my close friends Kendra, Bailey and Kelli Down Under to Cains (near the Great Barrier) and Sydney, Australia. I remember the day we packed our luggage onto the bus because it was on my birthday. We were headed on a 10 day adventure with about 30 other college students from Morningside. Our trip was jam packed with stuff to do each day and really was the best way to see the country because our itinerary was full. 

What we got to wake up to in Cains!

Bay and I in Cains, Australia
Enjoying drinks at the bar in our hotel.
One fun thing besides being in a beautiful country was that the drinking age is 18 there so since most of us weren't legal in the US we could get a feel of being a legal "adult" by buying fancy alcoholic drinks. We sure did take advantage of that ;)

Kendra and I after the boat tour.
Aborigine face paint with Bay and Kendra
I can't even explain to you in detail all the places we went just because it would be such a long post but we spent several days in Cains, stayed a few nights in a rain forest, then took a small plane to Sydney. In order to get the credit for the class we had to talk to local businesses while we were there and also did research of various tourist attractions prior to our flight. I really like knowing about a place before I visit it so that was something that was no problem.

Kelli and I - Roomies!
Holding the squishy sea caterpillar at the Great Barrier
There was no language barrier of course so that was nice! We all fell in love with their Australian accents while we were down there. The people are so nice and so funny! We got to feed kangaroos while we were there and even held a Koala. Unfortunately Kelli got bit by the Koala!! Surprising huh?? I guess the Koala was sick of all the photos and cuddling.
The Barrier reef is so breathtaking! There were tons of fish with colors as vast as the rainbow and the coral was quite the site! We went snorkeling all day and even went on a guided tour farther from our boat which was awesome!
Swimming in ice cold water on on of our hikes

Kelli and I in downtown Sydney
Tasting the local food - I think one was crocodile

Visiting the 2000 Summer Olympics location

Us girls with the Sydney Opera House in the background

At the famous Bondi Beach
Bay and I trying out surfing at Bondi

The whole Morningside Gang
The group that we went with made the trip even that much more memorable.
"Did you say Didgeridoo?!?!"

Tanzania, Africa - Summer 2009

Wilson our awesome Tour Guide / Brother to STEMM
I can't believe I am writing about both of these long trips in one post but it is great to have an excuse to document them and share them with you! This is a trip I have wrote about before because it was changed my life and my outlook on life so much! I had always wanted to go to a third world country like Africa on a mission trip and when I had the opportunity to go in college and get nursing experience I knew that God was pushing me to go. I listened and I have never ever had any doubts! This trip opened my eyes to extreme poverty, gave me a new found hope in this world and made me realize that even if you have so little, you still have so much to praise God about! I went with an organization called STEMM (Siouxland Tanzania Educational Medical Ministries) that was founded by an orthopedic surgeon who has gone to Tanzania over 20 times. You can hear more about my trip by reading this post.

My favorite picture of the Trip. Little girl at The Plaster House
 The Plaster House is a place children go after they have surgery. They can't go back to their mud huts with casts on so the Plaster House is a place to go in between surgery and home. Dr. Meyer assessed kids there that were planning on having surgery and he would try to do as many surgeries as possible on his 3 week stay there.

Breaking ground for the STEMM Children's village - a new orphanage

Breathtaking Mount Kilimanjaro - Tallest freestanding mountain in the world

Amanda Sarah and I ready for surgery!

Their smiles are just the best :)
Had to bring the baby along! Sleeping quarters under the radishes
On the trip we helped in several orphanages. One of which was called Huruma Orphanage and the little girls I met there just melted my heart. "Huruma" means Compassion in Swahili and after returning from Tanzania I had the word Huruma tattooed on my foot with a cross.

The whole gang on the safari
Children of Tanzania
Beautiful Whitness at Huruma Orphanage
 I was also able to scrub in on orthopedic surgeries (weird because now I am an orthopedic nurse!) When I was in surgery the power went out and we had to just wait and pray for several minutes waiting for the electricity to come back on. We also did HIV/AIDS education in 2 schools there and were able to take in the beautiful sights on an Africa safari for 3 days!

Amazing picture of elephant reflection!



I picked up on a little Swahili while I was there and mama Gayle (our trip coordinator) taught us a lot of phrases. My favorite is Bwana Yesu Asifiwe which means Praise the Lord! These wonderful people sing their hearts out for the Lord and I have never felt so close to God or so moved by the Holy Spirit as I have while in Tanzania!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Black Hills Vaca {Post 2}

I have so much to write about, I don't know where to start! It has been such a fun and fulfilling summer and I feel that I could write about work experiences, vacations or daily crafts. But for tonight I will tell you about the second half of our wonderful vacation we had in the Black Hills.
Tuesday (July 2nd) afternoon we went to Wonderland Cave. My brother had been wanting to go to a cave and that one seemed to be the best in the area. So I rode on the motorcycle with my dad and the rest of the family drove in the Morano. It was a long trek there and were signs that would say "Wonderland Cave this way" or "Almost there" or "200 yards". My dad kept saying "this cave better be worth it!" and it was a pretty neat cave! We went on a 45 minute tour through the stalagmites and stalactites. I loved riding on the bike with my dad and even though it was a little scary at first I trust him and he was pretty cautious just because he hasn't been riding that long on it. I will cherish that moment on the bike with him forever. It was good to have that quality time on the open road with my dad. We totally didn't look like the "biker" type though. We had just jeans on, and I had sandles on. We kept trying to figure out the "biker signal" that every biker uses when they meet on the road but we still don't know if we got it right..haha!


Mom & I after our muggy run
Wednesday (July 3rd) The guys went to a course and golfed 18 holes and mom and I had breakfast at the lodge while watching Kathy Lee and Hoda (one of my guilty pleasures). We decided that we should check out the running/bike trail that was very close to our lodge so we headed there around 11:00 am. It was already pretty hot and we set out on a walk. Soon I ditched mom and jogged up the trail on my own with my pandora playing :) It was a great run and somehow I had the energy to run a total of about 5 miles. Like I said before, during my runs I feel close to God and this run was no exception. Being among such beautiful nature and able to have the motivation and endurance to run that far made me feel truly blessed. I always think of that ability God has given me and think of Fidel or my patients that can't run that far because of their conditions. It makes me very thankful for what God has given me.
After the trail we met up with guys and went horse back riding. We went to a nice little horse back riding place that had many beautiful horses and even a few little colts that were just the cutest. We all were assigned horses and quickly shared the horses names with everyone.
Me = Colby
Alex = Jamie
Mom = Trigger
Alex G = Sky
Mike = Baby
Michael squishing mom before the trail ride

Alex learning how to handle his horse.
Mike made a hilarious comment by saying "no one puts my horse in a corner" haha! I loved the Dirty Dancing reference. We set off on the trail with 2 young girls that were leading us. They were really great because they told us a lot about the horses and by the last part of the ride we were able to gallop on the horse which was fun. That was the fastest I had ever gone on a horse and was really exciting! The area we traveled was wonderful! The horses had to go on some pretty tricky terrain but they did great! Horseback riding is something that I have been wanting to do for many years now and was so happy that we got to in the area we did.

My Beautiful Horse!
That night we ate at restaurant in Deadwood and then I played a little roulette at the casino that was connected to the restaurant. They had the electronic roulette game that I played in Las Vegas so I texted my friend Kelli and told her I was going to play. She told me to put money down on number 1 so on my first turn I put money on 1 and it HIT!! I won $18 on that spin so was feeling pretty lucky. I ended up winning $14 total after going back and forth. We were going to head to a movie after that but sorta got lost in Spearfish and would have been really late so we just decided to get ice cream instead at DQ. I had a s'mores blizzard that was delish!
The fourth of July started off really rainy and stormy so we waited to do anything until a late morning. Dad and I started off on the bike while the rest of the family followed but we had to park the bike in Deadwood because it started raining again. We all hoped in the truck and headed to Mount Rushmore. We stopped in Hill City to grab a bite to eat and went through some of the tourist shops there. I bought Easton (Alex's nephew) the book "Who Pooped in the Black Hills".
It was really neat getting to be at Mount Rushmore on the 4th of July and I thought it would be more crowded but it wasn't too bad. I had been to Mount Rushmore when I was younger but it was really neat to see it again. I still can't imagine having a vision to create the four presidents' faces out of a mountain! And the whole project happend from 1934-1939. The monument was orinially going to show the presidents from the waist up but did not have enough funding to sculpt that much. As you walk to Mount Rushmore there is a aisle of all the state flags which is a really cool sight to see.
Land of the Free...Home of the Brave

My wonderful parents

I forced them to pose this way..though it would be a cool picture :)

My husband and I

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