12.30.2016

Sage Synopsis v. 8






//T H O U G H T S 

Real talk: I'm coming to the realization that I'm currently lacking the deep joy that comes from a relationship with God. I think I got off track sometime around our miscarriage and that, paired with a lot of relational challenges in the church, really has me in a place where my faith is just lackluster. I have so much to be thankful for and I hate dry seasons like this, so I'm really trying to be intentional about spending time in the word and prayer. This last year has easily been one of the hardest years on me, so I'm hoping that 2017 looks up and that even if it doesn't, I can find true joy in Christ.

We're visiting with family in Charleston this upcoming week and I'm so excited to do some exploring! I also can't wait to see some of our sweet friends that live in the area while we are there.  

I have a new blog design in the works and I can't wait to see the finished product and share it with you all. Thanks Amanda!  

I've been reading a lot of "must-have" baby registry lists and somehow I still feel like I have a million and one things on our registry so far. Oops.  

//P O P U L A R  L A T E L Y

Baby Bear Coming June 2017

10 Reasons I'm a Self-Proclaimed Tomboy.

//G O O D  R E A D S


Lessons From An Atheist: Toward A Better, Truer Christianity. As a former atheist, I'm really interested in Christian-Atheist relations and dialogues. I believe we have a lot to learn from each other. I have had this post from Scott Sauls on my to-read list for months and I'm so glad I finally had a chance to read it. 

I am planning to participate in the POPSUGAR 2017 reading challenge. Join me?! This might be cheating but I already started "a book about food" by picking up "Delicious!" by Ruth Reichl. It has been on my TBR list FOREVER and I'm absolutely loving it so far. 

//A U D I B L E S 

Since I have had a bit of a break from school I have been listening to a lot of podcasts (surprise!). A few new ones I recently discovered that I don't think I have shared with you all before include: Up and Vanished, Missing & Murdered: Who Killed Alberta Williams?, and Accused. I think I need a crime podcast intervention.

//I N S P I R E 

How swoon-worthy are these photos from Charleston?! I'm already inspired by these pins

 

//B L O G G E R  L O V E 

The holidays can be a tough season for many. I'm one of those people that kind of struggle around the holidays so I really appreciated this post on 4 Simple Steps to Holiday Peace.

I hope you all have a lovely New Year's weekend! 

post signature

12.28.2016

2016 in Review

I'm with the majority of people that seem to think 2016 was a particularly challenging year. Although I'm so ready to start 2017, I wanted to do a quick little recap of 2016 for my records.

JANUARY 


This year I have really struggled with relationships. New relationships, old relationships, ending destructive ones, and ones that have changed drastically. I don't talk a lot about what I'm going to school for or my specific training, so I took a risk and wrote a bit about building relationships and ending destructive ones.

FEBRUARY


In February I traveled home to Arizona and participated in the 2016 Sedona Marathon Series 10K with my mom. I really miss living in Northern Arizona so it's always a joy when I get to return. I'll be participating again in 2017 and I can't wait!

MARCH

A photo posted by Cassie (@thatsageblog) on


I actually didn't write a single blog post in March of 2016. Whoooops. However, in March we participated in True False Film Festival which is one of my favorite events of the year in our little town. My research also won first place at our Graduate Professional Council's Research and Creative Activities Forum! 

APRIL


In April all of my childhood dreams came true and I saw Elton John live in Las Vegas. I can officially die happy now. I wrote a bit about how blogging felt icky to me lately. I hate that it still kind of feels that way almost a year later. I also talked a little about our journey with Airbnb hosting and wrote one of my top viewed posts of the year: Dear Atheist Self.

MAY



May was the start of my comprehensive exams crackdown (aka when I started to lose some of my sanity). Despite that, I still managed to run 20 miles for United Relay!

JUNE


The comps crackdown and loss of my sanity continues. In June I traveled to New Orleans for a conference, which was a complete blast! We celebrated two years of marriage and I struggled with some family stuff. I also continued to do quite a bit of running with the Hospital Hill 10K at the top of my list! Despite this being a crazy year, I ended the year with 400 running miles which I'm really happy with.

JULY




Another month of blogger fails. I basically spent the entire month cooped up in our office staring at my computer screen. Joy! There were a few high points for the month, like a sweet friend from church bringing me study treats! At the end of the month we found out we were expecting.

AUGUST


The week before my comprehensive exams, we had a miscarriage. Despite this tragedy, I completed and passed my comprehensive exams on the first try! This was a really, really hard month(s) for us personally, professionally, and with our church. 

SEPTEMBER


A photo posted by Cassie (@thatsageblog) on


I continued to really struggle with our miscarriage well into September and beyond. I also attended by first MIZZOU football game and did a ton more running in preparation for my half marathon in October.

OCTOBER



In October we had Roots 'N' Blues 'N' BBQ, our favorite local music festival! The final day of the festival, we found out I was pregnant again. Cue a million mixed feelings. We visited some of our family in southern Missouri and I ran the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon in Louisville at 6 weeks pregnant. I also wrote about my new understanding of why people don't talk about miscarriage.

NOVEMBER

A photo posted by Cassie (@thatsageblog) on


Another month of zero blog posts. In November I struggled with a lot of fear and anxiety about losing my current pregnancy. Around the end of November when I was about 11 weeks, we finally told our families which was exciting but also scary. We also traveled home to Arizona for the holiday where we got to visit with family and I met my uncle and his family for the first time in my life!

DECEMBER 


We celebrated my birthday and shared we were expecting in June, 2017! I participated in a 5K at 13 weeks pregnant. We celebrated Christmas at home just the two of us which was really nice. 

What were the highs and lows of your year?
 
post signature

12.26.2016

2017 Reading Goal & 2016 Reading Recap


In 2015 I set the goal of reading 20 books and far surpassed it by reading 54. You can see the full list of books I read in 2015 HERE. In 2016, I set a goal of 50. Little did I know, 2016 would turn out to be one of the toughest years I have had in a while, especially when it came to school. With my miscarriage, followed by my comprehensive exams in the summer, and a grant deadline in December, reading for pleasure was the last thing I wanted to do. So, to say this differently, I failed miserably and only reached 50% of my goal. I read 25 books in total.

My 2016 books included:
1. The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Short Stories by Marina Keegan
2. Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica
3. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
4. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
5. The Circle by Dave Eggers
6. Night Owl by M. Pierce
7. Jesus Outside the Lines: A Way Forward for Those Who are Tired of Taking Sides by Scott Sauls
8. Where the Bodies Where Buried: Whitey Bulger and the World that Made Him by T.J. English
9. Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy by Alli Worthington (my review)
10. The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
11. Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight by M.E. Thomas
12. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
13. The New Codependency: Help and Guidance for Today's Generation by Melody Beattie
14. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
15. If I Run by Terri Blackstock
16. Stop Walking on Eggshells: Coping When Someone you Care About has Borderline Personality Disorder by Paul T. Mason
17. The Newsmakers by Lis Wiehl
18. After You by Jojo Moyes
19. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
20. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
21. Life is Beautiful by Sarah M. Johnson (my review)
22. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
23. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
24. At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
25. Grey by E.L. James

For 2017, I am setting the goal of 50 books again. I know this year will be interesting since we are expecting a life changing addition to our family in June. I'm hoping that participating in a few reading challenges will help me reach this goal with more excitement than I had last year. I'm also hoping to do a few more book reviews and hopefully to update you a bit on my progress throughout the year.

You can also follow along with me on Goodreads HERE.

post signature

12.17.2016

St. Louis Hot Chocolate 5K Review

Last weekend we made the trek to St. Louis for some birthday festivities, which included running in the Hot Chocolate 5K. I was initially hoping to do the 15K but this time of year in the midwest paired with being pregnant isn't exactly a recipe for a healthy 15K, so the 5K it was!

Overall: As a whole, I really enjoyed this race. I don't normally love novelty-type races because they're large citizen races and, as a result, are often a pain to navigate and participate in. However, this wasn't the case with the Hot Chocolate Run. Everything was well managed such that it didn't feel like there were as many people participating as there actually were. I would highly recommend this race.

T-Shirts/Swag: All participants got a nice zip-up hoodie for participating. As I mention below, since I was unable to make it to packet pickup I am still waiting to receive my hoodie. However, they appeared to be really high quality from what I saw. The 5K finishers did not get medals but the 15K medals looked great. Otherwise, the race after-party was full of great treats and these awesome mugs that included hot chocolate, hot fudge, and various dipping treats like bananas and marshmallows! The free race photos were also a nice perk.



Aid Stations: I only saw one aid station on the 5K route but they were stocked with sports drinks and water, plus chocolate! They had a ton of great volunteers with made the aid stations move smoothly, in my opinion. One additional aid station might have been nice, especially for the 15K runners who run the majority of the 5K course before turning off for the last 10K.


Course Scenery: The course scenery was about what you would expect in downtown St. Louis. The course started in a location that had a nice view of the arch and the rest took place on city streets. It definitely wasn't the most scenic part of St. Louis but it was still enjoyable!




Expo Quality: Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to the expo since packet pickup is only held before race day and we live a few hours away. This is the one thing I dislike about RAM Racing: no packet pickup on race day! I usually don't mind it for larger races because it keeps the lines on race mornings minimal, but we had a crazy week which made it impossible to get out to St. Louis prior to race morning which meant I couldn't pick up my packet. I was able to get my bib at the information booth which was really nice and I was told I would be mailed my race jacket, which I have yet to receive.

Elevation Difficulty: Not bad. There were a few rolling hills but it is the midwest after all.

Parking/Access: Accessibility and parking weren't bad once we figured out how it all worked. There was no information about parking on race day on the website, so it was basically up to you to drive around and figure it out. The first lot we found was full but thankfully we were directed to another one right down the road. You had to pay for hourly parking but it wasn't too bad.

Race Management: Well done! Managing a race this large can't be easy. There were dozens of corrals that all started 2 minutes apart. Once the race actually "started" it still took 6 minutes for me to start, and I was corral D! As I was finishing, I saw the last corral starting. This definitely helped to spread things out on the course but I'm not sure how I felt about all the waiting. Otherwise, the race was well equipped and all runner needs were met! RAM usually does a great job with their events so I wouldn't expect anything different at this one!


See my review on Bibrave.com HERE.
post signature

12.08.2016

Whiting Fire Relief

Although we are thankful to those of you that have celebrated the joy of our announcement, we have some friends that need the support even more. The following post is from my husband:

My high school friend, McKenzie and her husband, Colton lost their home and all worldy possessions last night in a fire that completely engulfed their home.

As devastating as that is, it's nearly Christmas and they are having to figure out how to rebuild their lives instead of enjoying their blessings as the holidays approach. The thing that tugs on me is that I was concerned about having to pay for a water bill that was significantly higher than normal this month (despite the fact that it was probably a mistake on the part of the city). To consider something as small as that in the face of losing all the possessions you own, truly puts things into perspective and makes me grateful for everything that I have been given to steward by an amazing God. 

Luckily, things lost were only worldly. Husband and wife and animals are all safe and were never in any danger thanks to God's graciousness. However, that doesn't mean some of their basics are not in need of being taken care of for them. They need new cars, they need new clothes, they need new beds to sleep in, shelter from an increasingly cold winter and to know that God still loves them unconditionally. 

Please consider and pray about your own needs and if you can give and are willing to give. Five dollars for us means far less than it will mean to them at this time. And the goal of their GoFundMe is probably significantly lower than they need to replace everything they just lost. If you are unable to donate, please share this post on social media. 

I want to thank you for being a community willing to love on someone you probably don't know in a time when they need all the love in the world. 

post signature

Baby Bear Coming June 2017


I wanted to stop by and share some happy news with you all. You all have been so supportive with all of the loss and grief we went through with our miscarriage and I am so grateful for that. For those parents still in waiting, we haven't forgotten about you and we continue to pray for your blessing alongside you.

Although we don't plan to share a lot about my pregnancy or the baby publicly, I wanted you all to know that God has answered our prayers and longing, and we are so thankful for everyone that cried, grieved, prayed and celebrated alongside us the last year or so. I am just past the 13 week mark and our due date is very close to my husband's birthday.

post signature

12.02.2016

JORD Watches Now Offers Wood Engraving!









Remember when I shared the perfect Father's Day JORD watch earlier this year? Well, I am excited to tell you that JORD is now offering wood engraving, just in time for Christmas!







We decided to get my step-dad an engraved JORD watch for Christmas this year as my husband CONSTANTLY gets compliments on his. We kept it simple and had "Merry Christmas, Andrew. Love, Matt & Cassie" engraved on the back of the Frankie Dark Sandalwood & Smoke and it turned out absolutely perfect. We chose this watch because it is minimal, but still professional and sleek looking. It was an ideal choice for my step-dad who is an engineer and works in the office and on-site. The watch is so versatile that it's great for both settings.

We have been really pleased with the quality of the JORD watches that we have purchased and every time the accessories just seem to get better. I cannot say enough wonderful things about the quality of their products and the durability of these beautiful watches. 

This engraved gift adds a nice personal touch and is only $35. The length of the engraving depends on the watch size, so be sure you select a watch that will fit the message you would like to add. If watch engraving isn't for you, you can also engrave the side of the beautiful wood box that the watch comes in for $45. Act now and order that perfect watch for your family member! Engraving can add extra time to your order, so don't waste any time!

I have some good news. Visit THIS LINK and enter your e-mail for a FREE $25 gift card, just in time for the holiday season!


Don't miss out on the chance to make someone's holiday a little brighter with a custom engraved watch!

post signature

10.30.2016

Luvo Healthy Frozen Entrees


I recently had the opportunity to try Luvo's healthy frozen entrees. I'm not going to lie, at first I was skeptical because I'm not a huge fan of frozen meals and typically try to avoid them all together (hello wayyyyy too much sodium and zero freshness).

However, I have been nothing but pleased with my Luvo meals so far. First, their packaging is totally green, which I love. Second, they use steamazing technology which cooks your food ALL the way through without any of that nasty burning or frozen centers you find with other frozen meals. Learn more in the video below:


Third, their meals are healthy and fresh! They use antibiotic-free meat and poultry, and non-GMO ingredients whenever possible. Plus, the meals are nutrient dense and often pack in a ton of those macros! My favorite entrees include the chicken chile verde and roasted vegetable lasagna (see a full list HERE). So tasty! Fourth, they are so easy! Luvo will ship directly to your door (or you can buy in store), and the entrees only take about 8 minutes to prepare. 

A photo posted by Cassie (@thatsageblog) on

If you're trying to eat healthy or just looking for easy meals for those days that you are on the go, Luvo is definitely for you! I'm looking forward to trying their line of burritos when I run out of my current stash!
post signature

10.29.2016

Ekiden Coaching Review


Disclaimer: I received a free 6-week training program from Ekiden to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

For the last 5 weeks or so I have been working with Ekiden Coaching. I'm excited to share a bit more about my experience with you all today.

What is Ekiden Coaching? Ekiden is an online coaching program that is meant to help facilitate a relationship between the coach and trainee (you!) with the aim of reaching your next running goal! My goal for this training cycle was to run the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon. I set a goal time between 2 hours and 2 hours 10 minutes.

How does it work? First, you fill out a survey with your needs and preferences. This is used to match you to a Ekiden coach. The match is based on goals, experience levels, and communication needs. Once you are matched with a coach, you get an online training program that you can access via the Ekiden website. Each coach is independent and has their own training style, so your plan will vary based on the coach you are assigned. You also get daily text reminders about the next day's workout. Here's an example:



Ekiden syncs with Strava so that your coach can keep track of your training and make adjustments as needed. I found the sync process to be very straightforward. Although I don't usually use Strava for runs anymore (I prefer my Apple Watch), it wasn't too hard to start using it again since I always run with my phone anyways. In addition to your weekly training plan, you can also contact your coach via Ekiden messaging with any questions, concerns, or adjustments you might need or want.

How much does it cost? The cost of Ekiden coaching varies based on your needs. Here are two coaching options they have listed on their website:





Monthly rates become lower as you pay for more months of training at a time. See the section on "coaching packages" here.

How flexible are the coaches? I found my coach to be pretty flexible. I had a few health problems come up during my training cycle that my coach was able to easily adjust for so that I could still maintain my training without hurting myself. I was pretty open-minded to whatever my coach had planned for me but I am confident that if I had strong preferences about my training, he would be willing to make adjustments as needed.

Is it worth the money? It depends. I think it's definitely at least worth a shot. Personally, being in graduate school, I cannot afford to spend this much money on a monthly basis. Also, my coach had me following the Jack Daniels training plan, which is great. However, my husband worked with Jack's wife for a time and is very familiar with the training program, so I could essentially get the same training plan from my husband for free. One thing I was really looking forward to was the communication with my coach and being able to check in about my training and any running-related questions that came up. Unfortunately, my coach wasn't always responsive. I'm super Type A and also a morning runner, so I like to plan my workouts days in advanced. On multiple occasions, 7pm on a Sunday would roll around and my training plan for the next week wouldn't be posted yet. This means my Monday morning run was completely unknown at that point, which I found to be a challenge. If coaching is something you can make room for in your budget, I would suggest at least giving it a shot. They also have a team of coaches, so if training isn't working out with one of them, I assume it wouldn't be too hard to switch. Also, you can use the code BibRave16 for 1 month of free training when you purchase 3 months!

In terms of reaching my goals, I ended up with a time of 2:13. However, I'm still really happy with this time especially given all of the health challenges that popped up in the 2 weeks before my race. I felt better during this half than I have ever felt and I'm sure that my training had something to do with it!

What questions do you have?

post signature

10.26.2016

5 Things To Do on Sedona Marathon Weekend


Last month I shared five reasons to run Sedona but this month I want to share some of my favorite activities in and around Sedona! My husband and I would regularly drive down to Sedona as we used to live just a few miles north and it's one of my favorite places ever.

1. VISIT OAK CREEK CANYON.
Just a short drive out of downtown Sedona, you won't want to miss these views! February isn't the peak season for Oak Creek Canyon but it's still beautiful in the winter. Take my advice and skip Slide Rock, it's a tourist trap.

2. SHOP AT TLAQUEPAQUE AND EAT AT OAK CREEK BREWERY. 
Sedona is known for art and this is an easily accessible shopping area that really has it all. I really enjoy just wandering from shop to shop and working up an appetite for Oak Creek Brewery. Definitely try their Nut Brown Ale and a burger.

3. GET A MASSAGE. 
My mom and I love to go stay at the hotels in Sedona and get massages, especially following a race! One of my favorite places is Sedona Rouge which also happens to be one of pick-up locations on race morning. Think about how relaxing the spectacular views of the red rocks can be!

4. CARB LOAD AT CUCINA RUSTICA. 
Absolutely amazing Italian food with the most lovely atmosphere. One of my favorite places!

5. VENTURE UP TO FLAGSTAFF. 
I could write a whole post on what to do in Flagstaff, but just trust me on this one. It's less than a 30 minute drive north of Sedona. You can check out the amazing mountain views, grab a bite to eat at Pizzicletta, and finish the night at one of the local wine bars (try Wine Loft) or breweries (try Motherroad).

If you have any questions, don't be shy!
post signature

10.24.2016

Urban Bourbon Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

On Saturday I participated in the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon and I can't wait to tell you all about it. I have been anticipating this race for nearly a year and have been lucky enough to have the help of Ekiden Coaching the last few weeks to help with my training. As the  race got closer, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I was hospitalized with the flu the week before and lost a few days of training due to that. In the end, though, I ended up being really happy with my performance. I finished with a time of 2:13 which is right around where I planned to be!

Overall
One of the best half marathons I have ever participated in, by far! This is one of those races that I would come back for time and time again. From the swag to the courage to the race management, it was all flawless and a total blast! Read on to learn more.

Swag
The swag for this race was more about the experience than the material goods, which I really enjoy. Each participant got a virtual swag bag full of discounts, a lovely long-sleeve technical tee with the Urban Bourbon logo, and a wristband. The wristband included tickets for pizza, burgoo, beer, and bourbon- of course! The lines for these got a little long but tended to move quickly. This is in addition to the finish line goodies which included fruit, bagels, powerade, heat blankets, and more! Probably my favorite swag, though, was the finishers medal!

Aid Stations
Perfectly spaced, well staffed, and plenty of water and powerade!



Course Scenery
You seriously cannot beat this course. The course goes through some of the most beautiful locations in Louisville including Cherokee park. You get to tour beautiful homes and neighborhoods as well as the city. I loved the entertainment along the course which included live music, people handing out donuts, and even the police officers blasting their speakers! I forgot my headphones the morning of the race but it ended up being totally fine because I was entertained throughout. It also helped that one of the other Pros, Laura, ran with me the entire time so we were able to chat quite a bit.

Expo Quality
Easy in and easy out, just the way it should be! T-shirt size exchanges were available on-site which is always a plus. There was bourbon tasting on site and Fleet Feet was there for any last minute needs. The only thing complaint I have about the expo was the long line at the Fleet Feet register.

Elevation Difficulty 
Not bad. There were a few rolling hills and one or two steep inclines but completely manageable and worth the views.

Parking/Access
Fairly easy!


A photo posted by Cassie (@thatsageblog) on

Race Management
FIVE STARS. In the months leading up to the race all the way through the end of race weekend, race management was amazing. There were always people to help, plenty of volunteers, and flawless execution on race day. Michael, the race director, took time out of his day to come meet all of the BibRave Pros which was really cool.

Overall, I highly recommend this race to other runners. If you have been looking for a new half marathon, this is your race!

See my review on Bibrave.com HERE.
post signature

10.17.2016

Now I Understand Why No One Talks About Miscarriage


Back in August I shared about our miscarriage. I chose to share for a few reasons:

(1) Because I know it was nothing to be ashamed about and silence can breed shame,
(2) I value openness and vulnerability and it's important for me to be real with you all and the important people in my life, and
(3) I knew I was going to need a lot of support.

I recently read this article titled, "5 Weeks and 3 Days Pregnant." The author writes:

I’m not ignorant about the risks of my pregnancy. I’m aware that nearly 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, and I know that I’m not excluded from that statistic. It very well might happen, regardless of how wanted this baby is. 

But I refuse to suppress my excitement because of something that might happen. Women are expected to deal with their bodies in private, to stay quiet about the normal, healthy, uncomfortable things that it experiences. When, in reality, our bodies are badass. We create human beings! How amazing is that?! 

I’m supposed to stay quiet through the grief of miscarriage or the unending sickness that is the first trimester. But I refuse to be shamed because of this natural process that my body is going through, whatever the result may be. 

If I experience the heartache that is miscarriage, I don’t want to do so alone. I shouldn’t HAVE to do so alone — not when there are so many women out there that have gone through such a tragic ordeal. I find that when someone announces a miscarriage, many women start to speak up about their own experiences. We shouldn’t have to do this ladies — we should be able to find support in one another throughout the process. 

I know my risks and I know that I will be devastated if something happens to this baby. It may be difficult to talk about, but so is depression. So is the shame that comes with making mistakes. These are all things that I’ve been open about. Because you know what’s even harder than experiencing these things? Experiencing them alone.

I saw a lot of myself in this author as I had similar thoughts about staying quiet when I found out I was pregnant. I didn't want to perpetuate this expectation that we are supposed to stay quiet and deal with our bodies in private. That's part of the reason why I chose to share our miscarriage story. But now I'm here to say that I understand why women don't share and I find myself questioning my decision to do so everyday. Let me explain.

Telling people about your miscarriage is hard. It's painful and gut-wrenching and you have to relive the tragedy every time you share. But we shared because we knew we would need the love and support of our friends, family, and church community. And we did get that support- for about a week or two.

I have written this post about a million times and I have walked away from it after realizing there was still anger in my heart. I'm not writing today from a place of anger, but from a place of humility and saying "I was wrong." I want to see people grow from my words, not become defensive and hurt by them. But I'm here to say that I'm now finding myself wishing we wouldn't have told people about our loss.

By far the hardest part of our miscarriage were the feelings of loneliness that followed. The nights of sitting home alone crying and wondering, where is my community? Why am I having to walk through this alone? Why isn't anyone checking in with me or just coming over to sit with me and tell me "this sucks"?

I have always thought I had a really wonderful support system. Close friends, a church family that really loves on one another and lifts each other up, and so on. And I do. But I wasn't supported following our miscarriage despite my numerous attempts to convey "I'm not doing OK" and "I need help." I know it wasn't out of malicious intent or spite, but instead because people didn't know what to do. So they just did nothing. That left a deep wound in my heart.

I find myself wishing I would have never uttered those words or shared on social media at all because then I know I wouldn't have a reason to be bitter or hurt. If you don't tell people you're hurting, you can't be mad at them when they don't rush in, right? But what about when you openly share your heartbreak and your need for love and support and are left feeling as if no one cares? Where does that leave you?

For me, it left me feeling alone. It left me questioning the community I was a part of. It brought me back to those feelings of "I create community for everyone else, but don't get to be a part of it myself." It brought me to a bad place. A place where I then felt guilty for feeling bitter and upset. A place where I found myself not even wanting to be a part of community anymore.

Again, I'm not here to blame, but instead to say "I get it." It's easier not to tell people because then you don't expect anything. I hate that I feel this way because I still think silence breeds hurt, but I can't help but wonder if life would be much more simple if this were just a loss shared between my husband and I...

So, here I am. Still grieving and still working through the complicated feelings and questions our miscarriage has brought up for me. Trying to figure out how to move on and forgive people while still feeling as if there is something utterly wrong with a world that doesn't know how to love women who lose their babies, because I know I'm not alone.

I don't have an encouraging note to end this on or a call to action to offer you, instead, I'm just here to  share where I'm at, even if it's not pretty. I hope, at the least, this can start a dialogue. A dialogue that will help other women that experience a miscarriage from ever feeling how I do.

post signature

10.07.2016

Generation UCAN Snack Bars Review




Disclaimer: I received the Generation UCAN Snack Bars as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I'm going to preface this review with the fact that I am SUPER torn on these Generation UCAN snack bars. So, to help me be more clear about what I really loved and what I really didn't love, I'm going to the highlight some of the pros and cons of the UCAN Snack Bars.

PROS
1) The taste! I'm putting the taste in both pros and cons because I really like some flavors but didn't love the others. Chocolate and coffee were my favorite. I also really enjoyed the peach, even though it was really different from the others.

2) Sustained energy! I would take these to work, on long runs, you name it! They're super filling and have a ton of the right ingredients to ensure sustained energy. Even on super long rides and runs I didn't need to bring any fuel beyond one of these bars, which says a lot for me.

3) Texture. I also feel like the texture was kind of a con, because it was a little chalky. Interestingly enough, however, this made it easy to digest during a run or ride. I have a hard time chewing while working out, so this is a must. I noticed that some flavors were more chalky than others BUT if you rub them between your hands to warm them up before eating, they become less chalky! BAM!


CONS
1) The taste. The cinnamon swirl was disgusting and tasted absolutely artificial.

2) The texture. As mentioned above, they are a little chalky. This didn't bother me all the time, though.



Overall, I would definitely recommend giving these a shot. I know a lot of the other BibRave Pros had mixed feelings as well with some loving them, some hating them, and some feeling torn like I did. Seems like they're great for some and not for others, but they're at least worth a try in my opinion! Especially since the code BIBRAVE gets you 15% off!

post signature

9.30.2016

Rudy Project Sterling Helmet

"Disclaimer: I received a Rudy Project Sterling Helmet to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"

I recently had the chance to ditch my cheap walmart helmet and give this lovely helmet a try. Rudy Project has always been one of my favorite active-wear brands, especially their optics. So, as you can imagine, I was super excited to give this helmet a try.

The Rudy Project Sterling helmet was designed with the aid of an Italian hat craftsman to provide the upmost in comfort & safety. It features 18 vents to assure you’re properly cooled while the RSR7 retention system provides on-the-fly, single-handed adjustment.

The Sterling is available in number of bright Fluo colors and comes with a removable bug net and visor. I'm not a huge pink fan but I love that this helmet helps me to look a bit more girly in my cycling gear AND builds in some extra safety thanks to the brightness. The Sterling helmet is available in a variety of bright colors including bright yellow and bright orange.

The Sterling is the most comfortable and bestselling helmet from Rudy Project. It's super lightweight, well ventilated, and easily adjustable via the RSR7 point retention system. It also features a three-position Head Ring Eyewear Dock to hold your sunglasses in place when you’re not wearing them. It comes with snap visor, additional padding & Bug Stop net padding that is safety certified. One thing I have always loved about Rudy products is how adjustable and customizable they are. This helmet is no different! All of these features make it super versatile and great for really hot or really cold temperatures.

Opt in to their newsletter for a 25% off discount!


post signature