Monday, April 30, 2018


Woot woot!

The last time I was below 150 was in 2015!
I know it's one weigh in...and we must factor in all of last week.

1) I focused more on hydration last week.  This week, with a similar goal, I will hydrate better in the  morning/early afternoon hours.  Too much water before bedtime = not a solid night's sleep.  (lesson learned or still learning)

2) I logged my food diligently every day.  (minus Saturday - more to come about that)
Keeping track of my intake slows down my evening snacking, or shifts it to a healthy snack as opposed to half a pint of ice cream or a pile of cheese and crackers.  I'll measure the evening snack to not overdo it.

3)  I cut sugar from my morning coffee.  Since I have 3+ cups each morning, the teaspoons of sugar added up quickly.  I'm drinking some higher quality coffee, so milk is all that I need.  

4) I shifted gears in my workouts.  While the Iditarod challenge was a blast, I fell into a groove of cardio, cardio and more cardio, specifically at the gym to log my minutes.  Since completing the challenge I've shifted a few workouts a week to road work either biking or riding or a combo of both. I've also started a GRIT (HIIT) class once a week.  It has left me sore each week, but in a good way.  It definitely kickstarts my metabolism and kicks up the heart rate in a way my road work does not do. I'm thankful for the virtual classes at the gym and a crew committed to meeting at 5:30 on Monday mornings.

5) I've started a weekly schedule for my workouts.  Even though I'm not in training for any specific race at the moment, having a schedule in place helps me a ton!   Without mapping out the week of exercise, I'm not so sure what I'm doing each day.  I've found that the structure, while there is flexibility in it, helps me stick to my weekly goals of an hour (or more) of exercise 6 days a week.

6) Also, a race on Saturday was a boost.  It was the Hard Cider Run at the Hauser Estate Winery, home of Jack's Hard Cider.  It was a 5K that I was invited to sign up for by a friend.  (Thanks, Ktea!)
It'll be fun, she said!  We have a team, Cider Sisters!  Okay, I said, I'm in.
Needless to say, I stepped up my game and signed up for the Hungry Apple Challenge.  I was in for the option to take home a second medal as well as eat a donut at each mile marker of the race.  What I did not realize was how "scenic" the course would be.  (In our house, when describing a race course you need to know that scenic = hilly, very hilly.) Anyway, it was like a cross country course, on the grass, around a field and through the growing vines.

I think the donut breaks at each mile were a good chance to rest and catch my breath and keep my carbs going in full force.

(My personal race photographer {aka. husband of the year, Billy} was at mile two and caught this gem after telling me how proud he was of me for not walking at all.)

I took selfies at each mile to prove to friends and parishioners that I actually at the donuts at each mile and that they were actually whole donuts, not just munchkins. I was having a blast!

I was surprised to see Billy as I came out of the first set of vines.  
He completely captured my joy in running this race.  

I did not cramp up with the extra carbs, and resting to eat a donut helped me catch my breath for any "scenic" parts of the course yet to come. I didn't worry about my time, I just kept running and eating. 

I will say that after 3 donuts, a nice cold, crisp cider hit the spot to wash them all down at the end.  This was also the first race that I finished and was not hungry, at all.  

Needless to say, the three donuts, extra beverages and a stop for a filling lunch at Troegs on our way home meant that my caloric intake was much greater than the hills I ran that day.  It didn't matter.  I enjoyed the day and the experience.  

The moral of this week's story is that I worked hard all week and truly enjoyed a splurge day at the end.  Knowing it was coming, I didn't splurge on other treats mid-week.  

This coming week with May the 4th and Cinco de Mayo, I'll have to run the distance of the Kessel Run before eating delicious homemade tacos.  Win.  Win.  

At this point, weight-wise, I'd like to maintain a weight of under 15olbs.  I know it will still take work, so I'll continue logging food and exercise as well as focus more on my food intake, like proteins, whole grains and tasty veggies.  

I'll keep you posted.  

Thanks for reading. 

Until the next post...

Monday, April 23, 2018


Back on the scale today. 

Today is the first day back in the saddle.  

I've logged all my food today.  
I've been hydrating like a champ.  
It's the second Monday in a row where I've met some gym buddies for a 5:30am GRIT cardio class.   
We met up last Monday and it was a killer way to start the week.  I was sore until Thursday.  Abs, glutes, quads, you name it.  We'll see if I'm sore for more or less days this week.  :)

I realized that I'm hopeful for a weight and shape I was in several years back.  The way to get there is simple, yet challenging.  
Simple in that I know when I was in that shape I was doing a weekly bootcamp class, weekly yoga, running, and some cross training.  I was eating well and logging my food daily.  

Challenging in that it takes work to stick to a steady workout routine, log my food regularly and eat foods that feed my body well.   

I know I can do it. 
I've done it before.  

It will take focus and determination, I can do this.  

Bring on the solid workouts, tasty & healthy eats and focus.   

I'll keep you posted.  

In the meantime, thanks for reading. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Disbelief, joy and scars.

April 15, 2018
3rd Sunday of Easter

Acts 3:12-19
Psalm 4
1 John 3:1-7
Luke 24:36b-48

Please pray with me,
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O God, our rock, our strength and our redeemer.  Amen. 

One of my favorite ice breaker or getting to know you conversation starter has been, “Tell the story of your favorite scar.” 

I know, slightly quirky, but it works well for people of all ages.  Scars come with all sorts of stories.  I think there are three kinds of scars…ones that happen by accident, ones that happen on purpose, and the ones we know are there, but we cannot see. 

The accidental ones often make the best stories.  For example, this finger has a scar on both sides.  It happened on a first (and only date).  Parked three blocks from the restaurant, I slammed the truck door shut and my finger was in it.  I said, Jay, can you open the door?  He said, what?  I said can you unlock the door?  He said why?  I said, my finger is in it!! 

Needless to say…that made for an interesting evening. 

There are other accidental scars that many of us get growing up because we’re living our lives to their fullest.  We may have scars from bumps or bruises, biking or playing on the playground, skiing, skateboarding, sports, you name it.  They are accidental, but there they are. 

Some scars are part of our bodies on purpose…they are the ones often times from surgeries.  Whether planned or emergency, we have opted to have something done.  Something that will leave a scar, but will hopefully provide healing or better health in our future.  It may be a new knew or hip, they are very popular these days.  It may be the removal of a tumor or lump that could be cancerous.  But they are scars that we see as part of our bodies as something we needed to help us move forward in life in the best physical condition that we can. 

And then there are the scars we cannot see, but we know are there.  It’s the scars that we have in or on our hearts.  When mass shootings happen, we carry the wounds of a hurting nation.  When loved ones die, our hearts are wounded.  When someone we care for deeply is struggling with addiction, our hearts are wounded.  When someone we love goes through a divorce, job loss, or the loss of a child, we carry those wounds in our heart.  And when we ourselves have been emotionally or verbally hurt, those wounds are there, too. 

It’s safe to say that we all have scars. 
We have all been hurt at some point in our lives and we carry the scars to prove it.  Scars are a sign that we never totally forget our pain, although we can be restored. 

Jesus stood among the disciples and he says to them, “Peace be with you.” 
They fear he is a ghost to which he replies, “Why are you frightened?  Why do doubts arise in your hearts?  Look at my hands and feet, see these wounds, touch me and see…for a ghost does not have flesh and bones like I do, see that I am myself.” 

So they look…and see…but while there is joy, there is disbelieving. 

It seems that they are so happy, excited, overwhelmed, even, that Christ has been raised from the dead that the news is so good, that it still cannot be true.  Even through Christ is present, is standing in their midst, they are still not able to fully believe what they are seeing. 

There is a good chance we have felt this way on some level before.  Maybe you have been at a family gathering and had truly hoped a long lost relative would attend, but you couldn’t be sure of it…and then he or she walks in the room…and you are happy, excited, but still cannot believe they made it and are here with you. 

It may be the joy of being accepted to the number one college choice, or being hired for job that seemed too good to be true, but you receive the acceptance letter and have to read it twice, or even more to let the truth of the joy sink in. 

While there is joy…there seems to be an ounce of uncertainty, that the other shoe could drop, that this is too good to be true. 

For the disciples, this is an absolutely tricky place to be.  While Jesus had been with them, he had foretold his death and resurrection, yet in those initial hours and days after Jesus had been raised, they were still in the shock and grief of mourning…not wanting to come to terms with the fact that their teacher and friend had died, and now, and empty tomb, and look…here he is. 

Talk about a roller coaster of emotions.  No wonder there is some disbelief. 

So Jesus shows them his hands and feet.  Look and see, he says.  See that I am myself. 
I am the one who was put to death on a cross and was buried. 
You can see the wounds, the wounds of suffering and death. 
The wounds of pain and agony.
The wounds that show how death and the grave have been conquered. 

The wounds that show the presence of Jesus in the midst of all pain, suffering and death. 

The wounds that show that Jesus has been restored. 
The wounds that remind us that we can be restored. 
We have been restored. 
It is through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus that we have been restored and are continually restored to wholeness in God’s eyes. 

In the presence of the disciples, in the midst of their joy in disbelieving, Jesus shows the wounds, the scars of what he has experienced.   The scarred and wounded Jesus comes to us glorifying God in wholeness and fullness and grace.  And at the same time, still very human and vulnerable. 

When Jesus shows the disciples (and us) these scars, we know what he has experienced, we know that he has been healed, and we know that all of that has been for us.  We know that he has experienced life to the fullest – a life that included love and loss, sickness and pain and in the end death.  (Except that death was not the end for Jesus.)

We can seek comfort in the peace that Jesus shares with his disciples and with us. 
We can seek comfort in the wounds of Christ that we see on the risen Lord, because we know from them that he knows our pains, our struggles, our suffering and our loss. 

We know that whatever scars we carry, Jesus is with us, Jesus knows our pain and wants us to be restored.  We live in the light of an empty tomb…knowing that the scars we gain here are not the full story. Through the waters of baptism, we are restored, made whole and given new life in Christ. 

We carry our past experiences in our scars, as does Jesus, knowing that we too, are transformed, restored to continue to live lives of love and service for others. 

Whatever the scars are that you carry on you or inside of you, know that Jesus bears them as well. You do not bear these experiences alone.  Together, we continue to live and love, support one another and share in this journey of life and faith. 

May the peace, which passes all understanding, keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, and let all God’s people say, amen. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Inspirational ride.

Truth be told, most of my daily rides for #30daysofbiking have been short loops around the block or around the parking lot at church.  Yesterday I made it out for a nice 13 mile road ride on Katarina.  So named for the love interest in Breaking Away.  Totally worth the watch if you haven't seen it.  

Anyway, it was a windy, but good road ride yesterday.  

This morning, I made it out for a run before meeting a friend for breakfast.  After the sausage, broccoli rabe and provolone omelette (super delicious, by the way) I went for a trail ride.  

It was an easy 10 miler and when I say trail ride, it's rails to trails, so its a flat trail that runs along a river.  You can tell spring is here.  There were so many walkers, runners, riders and folks fishing today.  We've just been waiting for spring to arrive...and here it is!  

I was drawn to a stop only 4 minutes into my ride when I looked and saw 3 herons just standing in the river.  

It may be hard to see all three, but they are there.  

I'm a huge heron fan.  I love their poise and the way they glide through the air.  It wasn't until last fall that I heard their cry.  It's less than appealing, but I still love them.  Seeing three together was a pleasant surprise.  

As the ride continued, since I wasn't riding on the road I had the opportunity to let my mind wander.  I've been going back and forth about writing a book.  I'm not sure what shape it will end up taking, but I hope it will be a devotional for athletes, maybe specifically female athletes, we'll see.  Anyway, the idea drifted into my mind within the last year and I hadn't really followed up on it.  After reading Big Magic by Liz Gilbert  I began thinking about this project again.  While the juices hadn't really been flowing lately, I thought I would see if a project like this is something I could really do.  

I bought 3X5 cards to organize my ideas...yup, I'm old school like that... and then they sat.  

Yet on today's ride, the ideas just popped into my head.  As I was riding different experiences kept jumping into my mind.  So I tried repeating them to myself in hopes that I would not forget them.   Alas, I just stopped riding, I didn't want to forget them.  
I stopped several times.  
By the end of the ride I had seven ideas that I could write about.  Seven!  Crazy, right?  If I hadn't stopped mid ride, I may not have remembered them all.  

Also, I stopped to take a picture of turtles.  They, too, were enjoying the sun. 

So the afternoon opened up and I wrote and read and did some other grown up things like laundry and ironing, but mostly spent time getting my ideas into the written form.  
Who knows how long this project will take, but now it is started.  I think I was hesitating to begin because I thought I needed to know what the final product would look like before I even started.  But if I do that, it will never happen.  Based on the experiences I write about, the book will take whatever shape the stories give to it.  I'm ready for the Holy Spirit to be at work in the process and I'm excited to see how it takes shape.  

Hope you all are having a wonderful spring day.  

Bring on the next set of adventures.  

Monday, April 9, 2018

151 or The best week ever.

The past few weeks have had some amazing moments.  Here are my top 10 favorite moments.  

#10. This morning's weigh in.  151.  Yes, down from last week.  Now the weird thing is that I only logged workouts this past, not so much.  I'll get back into that habit this week.  

#9. I can proudly say that as of today, I have flossed my teeth every day since March 1.  It's a new record for me.  I know the dentist says I should floss daily for good reason, but it's never a habit that has stuck for me.  Who knows why, but March 1 was a new day for me and BAM....flossing is a habit.  

#8. Youth Led Worship.  This past weekend over 30 youth helped lead the congregation in all three worship services.  Their energy, joy, poise, musical gifts and comfort throughout the service was eye opening to all who attended worship this weekend.  The members of Trinity continue to love and support these amazing youth which creates space for them to lead, be funny, be serious, be poignant, and show and share their leadership gifts within this space and beyond. We welcomed back an amazing college student who led music at every service who will be changing her major in college and attending seminary after she graduates...a joyous announcement in a place that has nurtured her growth and faith.  <3 All three services were filled with energy, joy and the message that God's love makes a difference in our lives, and we in turn make a difference in the world around us.  

#7 The 6th Commandment.  At Fundocy (Fun Doing Confirmation with Youth) yesterday, we tackled the 6th commandment.  We awkwardly talked about the importance of living into faithful relationships and learned that you don't have to be an adult to commit adultery.  We also heard the intro to Salt 'N Pepa's "Let's Talk about Sex" as we closed our time together in the sanctuary.  I purposely played it in that space as a reminder that church IS a place to talk about this amazing gift of sex that God has given us and, it's safe space to do so.  The adults in the room repeatedly said that they are ready to enter into awkward conversations so our youth are able to talk with trusted adults.  

#6 Feedback from Youth Led Worship.  Over the past 24 hours, folks of all ages have had wonderful things to say about the youth of Trinity.  They 'had no idea' Trinity had so many talented youth.  They loved hearing their voices, hearing their ukuleles, seeing their joy and receiving communion from them.  There was some wonderful energy in worship this weekend and it was felt by many, many people.  

#5 Yesterday, I received two video messages from my sister.   One was one my 4 year old nephew running a 75 yard dash.  He runs like a champ!  The second was a post race interview with the runner.   Both were wonderful.  I am slightly envious of his post race spaghetti meal at his friend's house.  He knows how to refuel.  

#4 Today I finished the Iditarod challenge at the gym.  The challenge began on January 21.  The goal was to complete 976 miles which the gym equated to 2,937 minutes.  I finished that today!  The first goal was to finish the challenge was to finish by April 21, but then I hit the leaderboard.  Once that happened...I worked to stay in the top three.  I believe I am the third female finisher.  I have been motivated and encouraged by a woman who also hits the gym in the early mornings and will thank her the next time I see her.  One of the things I love about LJ's is the small community feel, and the relationships that we build in that place.  I love that I am encouraged and challenged by all sorts of folks.  I hope I do the same for them.  

#3 This past Thursday was the 10 year anniversary of my ordination.  :) As I looked through pictures from that day, I was reminded of all the people who have helped me become the pastor I am today and the pastor I continue to be.  I was ordained at First Lutheran Church in Ellington, Connecticut - the church where I spent my youth and was confirmed.  Jim Stuck, then bishop of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod flew out (with his wife) for my ordination.  He and his wife attended college with Ellen, an amazing, kind woman at First Lutheran, so they had a mini reunion.  :) Also in attendance were friends/classmates from seminary, the pastor at First when I was much younger, members of First, New Britain, where I served as youth director and secretary (prior to seminary), camp friends, colleagues from my internship in PA, also family (aka. the group - you know who you are) my first call pastoral education mentor (who was in Mass. to visit family) and folks from my first call congregation who drove out to surprise me.  It was a day filled with family, friends and people who have helped shape me in my call to parish ministry.  It was a vivid reminder that this is not a journey that I have traveled alone...and that many people people continue to love, support and pray for me in all that I do.  

#2 10th year of ordination celebratory dinner.  My amazing, loving and incredibly supportive husband saw that I shared pictures on the anniversary of my ordination.  He called when he got out of work and said, "Would you like to go out to dinner and celebrate?"  I thought, I didn't mean for my post to be a nudge to do something special....and then he said, it's an important milestone.  So we enjoyed an impromptu dinner out with tasty apps and a yummy lobster grilled cheese.  Billy is pretty stinkin' amazing and I am so thankful for his love and support as I love and serve the people at Trinity.   

Which leads us to #1.  
And while the anniversary day itself, or the amazing comments I received from that post, or the impromptu date night that came out of it all could rank at number 1....I have to say that it was the end of youth led worship that led me to tears of joy.  I was told by one of the youth that she would want to say something at the end of worship...but would give no further details.  At the end of worship, she and another high school youth stood in the pulpit and talked about how their time at Trinity has helped their growth and deepened their relationship with one another...and that they couldn't have done it alone....or without me.  They went to all the Sunday School classes that morning...and shared this at the end of worship:

In addition to the thank you poster, you can see the world's best dad apron from the prodigal son skit and the 'fatted' calf.  I get weepy just looking at this picture.  

You see, it's not about me...
Not. at. all.  

But there are some gifts that God has graced me with, that enable me to connect with youth - of all ages.  Apparently this gift is seen and experienced by many...and it's seen as others see the joy emanating from me as I connect with the young people in our congregation and community.   I love what I do.  It brings me joy.  I don't do it because of the joy I experience, I am just thankful that it brings me joy to connect with others and share God's love.   

win. win. win.  

I cannot (via blog post) express my deep appreciation for not only the two youth who presented this 'thank you' within the context of worship, but for the youth who open their hearts and their minds to let me be part of their faith and life journeys.  

Thanks, too, for parents who continue to encourage and expect church and a life of faith to be a part of their lives.  

And thanks, God, for these gifts, for a call to a place to share these gifts and the time to build and nurture relationships.  

I think I've had the best week ever, which is why I was too hyped up to fall asleep last night.  But at this point, I think I'm done.  

Thanks for reading. 
Thanks for supporting.  
Thanks for being you.  

Until the next post...

Monday, April 2, 2018


Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!  

Holy Week was filled with love, hope, holy moments, worship, fellowship, exercise, friendship and family.  It was a good week.  

So, here I sit, on the Monday after Easter looking at trees covered in snow and think, yes, it's a great day for sabbath.  After a solid night's sleep, I'm sipping coffee, reflecting and getting ready for a day filled with rest and re-creation.  

Today's TA-DA list includes:
Blog post
Riding my bike for #30daysofbiking
Reading - Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
Making quiche
Eating popcorn and watching Real Genius

It looks to be a good day, even with the snow outside.  

As my wholehearted journey continues, March winds down and April begins.  
I was journaling daily in March, using the vowel check-in which gave me time and space each day to think about how the day went.  I liked this practice.  Some journal entries were simply a sentence for each letter and other entries filled pages.  It just depended on how the day had gone.  I realized that I need to put pen to paper each day.  While I enjoy blog posts, there is something about the physicality of writing on paper, that I deeply enjoy.  That practice will continue in April in some shape or form.  

As I took time this past month to think about activities that 'numb' me, I took a break from phone activity including social media and the Simon Cat game - which just sucks me's weird.  
Anyway, one of my personal rules that I developed in March was not allowing myself to play games or use any social media outlets in bed.  This is my new favorite rule.  Seriously.  Here are a few reasons why:
1) I'm not filling my just before falling asleep time with screen time.  My eyes and mind need a break before going to sleep, so this way, once I'm in bed, if I'm awake, I'm reading our journaling.  
2) In the same vein, when I wake up, I don't just go to my phone.  I listen to the news or the radio and get up without spending 5-20 minutes surfing facebook or instagram or playing the cat game.  
3) It's lessened the time I spend on my phone each day. (just a healthy habit)

Also in March (drumroll please) I flossed every single day.  31 days of flossing.  It doesn't sound very exciting, but the dentist said, I really should floss daily.  Not that my most recent visit wasn't the first time they said that, but for some reason this time it stuck!  I'm proud of myself for creating this healthy habit over the past month.  

Moving into's a focus on cultivating gratitude and joy - letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark.  I'll be sharing posts containing #joywins or journaling about joy moments each day and looking for the joy that is in the world every day.  

Also, I'll be riding my bike each day.  Yay for #30daysofbiking!  

In thinking about how all of this relates to my weekly weigh-ins, I'll be looking into quick, healthy recipes that bring me joy in preparing and eating.  Billy and I truly enjoy food...and I know we can be doing a better job of preparing tasty food that nourishes our bodies well.  

I'll keep you posted.  
Seek joy & be well.

Until the next post...