Thursday, January 31, 2008

are you kidding me?

Let's be honest. There are sometimes when a human brain doesn't function at its best. I think that is what was happening when I decided to sign up for The Great Wall of China marathon with my friends Christine and Camille. I was thinking "it'll be fun, a great way to see China, a nice challenge, a good way to get in shape." That is what I was thinking until I saw THIS, the picture you see above...THAT is only a small portion of the amount of stairs we are going to have to climb in the race. Yep, 3700 in total. Although seeing this picture makes me pee my pants I'm so scared. To make it worse, you read the descriptions of the marathon website and here's what you get.

"You could not run it. It would be impossible. It's straight up and down. People were just crawling on all fours. People were screaming from the pain in their calves. One guy thought he would die."

Yeah, nice hey! Right now the furthest I have run is five miles, last night actually and I'm not going to lie, even that was tough. Every time I run I feel like the little train that could, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can". It's a good thing I'm a Harris and we have an ingrown competitiveness or I'd never make it. I have until May to train, But how in the world I am ever going to complete 13 miles and all these stairs is beyond me. I can't back out now, we've already booked our flights and Christine is my partner in our ward challenge and she'd kill me if I backed out now. The only goal I have now is to live through this thing, to get across that finish line even if it means I am one of the crawling people thinking I might die and screaming.

Monday, January 28, 2008

i'm going to miss this guy...

There really aren't adaquate words to describe how deeply I've been touched by this mans' life. President Gordon B. Hinkley, the 15th Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints passed away last night. He was more than just an amazing man. My hero in so many ways. As much sorrow as I feel that he wont be around to crack jokes at Confrence and continue is enless service to people around the world, I feel joy to know he is with his dear wife and family now. I am so grateful for the gospel in my life and the belief I have in eternal families. I have a testimony that Gordon B. Hinkley was a true prophet and we will only be better for following his council. I am so grateful to have a living Prophet to look to for guidance and direction.

An inspiration quote from President Hinkley that I love,

"I could wish for you nothing better than that your lives be fruitful, that your service be dedicated and freely given, that you contribute to the knowledge and the well-being of the world in which you live, and that you do it humbly and faithfully before your God. He loves you. We love you. We want you to be happy and successful, to make significant contributions to the world in which you will live and to the on-rolling of this great and majestic work of the Lord."

He truely was a magnificant Man. We love you President Hinkley!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Food Therapy

Throughout History, the pineapple has been used as a symbol to express the sense of welcome, good cheer and human warmth.

January in Connecticut looks like the lone and dreary world that you see below...

unlike the Pineapple, this first month of the year for me is NOT welcome! I'm officially ready to say goodbye to the winter blues. Instead of seeking out self help books or medicating myself for depression I decided to take this bull by the horns and cook my toes off. Cooking is the only therapy I need. There are the obvious instant gratification benefits of cooking but because I am a sensory person I also find relaxation in chopping vegetables and I think the home feels cozy when I smell a chicken roasting. It's okay, you can call me a food geek if you want to.

I've also found that have this nagging need to be creative and for life to be full of pretty colors and delicious accessories. Enter...salads and flowers. Salads first.

Yesterday I tried this new salad with roasted mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and baby mozzerella on a bed of arugula with truffle oil and balslamic vinegar for the dressing. I savored every single bite!

To make my living space more desirable I bought perfect plum purple tulips. Having fresh flowers in the house lessens my distaste for winter and gets me pumped for Spring. Warm weather, frisbee and rollerblading can't come soon enough. But if you are like me and share my sentiment about winter (meaning you really could go without it with the exeption of snow on Christmas morning, I highly suggest you try this new form of therapy I invented. Just a couple more months of cooking my toes off and finding deals on fresh flowers to arrange in the house!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Remember the 80's?

Watch This...I remember EVERYTHING...I kinda miss those days!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Faith, Hope, Prayer and Miracles

For those of you who do not share the same religion as I, don't tune out just yet. This blog is for all of my friends and family and applies to persons of all faiths. These are priniples that I believe in firmly. In the past month I have experienced each principle and it's power first hand.

I find that these four principles are interconnected. Faith Brings Hope, Hope brings Faith, Prayer brings both, and eventually through Faith, Hope and Prayer, Miracles occur. After the miracle, more hope, more faith, and prayer of thanks are offered. Atleast this is how the process works for me.

Faith is the belief in things which we can not see. There are times in our lives when we feel discouraged, we lose hope. Some miracles seem impossible. We feel unworthy of prayer. I have felt this way many times. There are things in our lives where we can not see the outcome. There are times when it seems easier just to give up on our creator, whom I refer to as my Heavenly Father. However, he did make us in his own image. He knows our feelings. He wants us to come to him with our sorrows, our worries, our discouragement becuase He cares for us and wants to help us become more like him through the process. They only way we can do that is to have faith. To believe without knowing what is going to happen. To have hope when there is no hope.

Communication with a higher being, Our Heavenly Father, or God comes through prayer. Because of a number of experiences throughout my lifetime and especially in the past month that are too personal to share on a blog, I believe that Heavenly Father really does hear our prayers and blesses us according to our faith. If we lack faith and hope how can we expect His blessings, His tender mercies, His miracles. That's like asking for a good grade in school when we haven't studied, haven't learned anything. Just as we can not ask for a grade we haven't put effort into from a proffesor, it is not fair to expect faithless miracles from God. However, I do believe God is more merciful. I know He is.

I want to express my gratitude to Heavenly Father for his mercy and his blessings in all of our lives. I know that he knows me better than I know myself and with continued Faith, Hope and Prayer I can trust that he will bring Miracles each day. It has been suggested that we write these daily miracles down, so that we can remember them and in turn our faith will increase and our hope will come easily. I intend to do so. I testify to these principles and I hope that those reading this blog have had the opportunity to experience something similar. We are ALL his children and we are all entitled to Miracles.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How I'm Eating An Elephant 0r Um 2008... One Bite at a Time

At the begining of every new year I make lists. Lists of goals or resolutions. I put them in catergories (spiritual, physical, social, proffesional, personal). I hate to admit it but I am a little obsessive about this, or have been in the past. I have so many ideas and goals and dreams floating around in my head all the time, so many things that I wish I could be or want out of life. Until..this year! I have decided to make 2008 simple. I didn't make my lists this year. It feels good, more carefree, more relaxed. I can honestly say I don't miss having a list. Making New Years Resolutions was always something I assumed needed to be done. I am realizing that I can still have the things I want and Holly isn't going to fall apart, just because I don't have my lists. In fact, in most of the areas I have categorized for years I feel I'm doing quite well. Granted we are only three weeks into the New Year, but feels awesome to just kind of go with it. So that's it...I've decided to take 2008 and maybe every year afterwards, one bite at a time!

Note: I love elephants with all my heart. They are powerful, loyal, majestic, graceful, and loving and they never forget anything (so they must be pretty organized hey). If I were going to make one resolution this year it would be to grow up and be like an elephant.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Best of 2007

I can't believe the year is over! Now on to new resolutions and starting over (I made a ton of them and so far I've already faltered on three of them). 2007 was a wonderful year for me full of lots of travels, friends, work, making mistakes and learning from them and enjoying life as a 27 year old menace. There are many things that made this 7th year of 2000 fantastic and below I've highlighted just a few.

Best Books
Eclipse and Eat Pray Love. I read them both in a week and consider it one of my favorite weeks of the year!

Best Movies
No Reservations, go see it and if you know me it won't be difficult to guess why I loved it. Juno had a very different kind of humor but interesting story line and nice dialogue. August Rush was one of those movies I walked out and felt empowered from, I downloaded the soundtrack to iTUNES as soon as I got home.

Best Advice
Never Make Assumptions

Best City I Visited
Ah London. I loved everything about London. The Red phone booths, the fish and chips, the taxi's and the British cab drivers, the parks, swans, Buckingham Palace, the Ferris Wheel, the words that are used there, like "cheerio"-such a fun word, Big Ben, The London Bridge...there was just so much to see!

Best Gift
My employers gave me this Little Giraffe Bathrobe in red. I live in this thing! Seriously the second I get off work and back from my run I put this robe on and jump in bed and read books. Love it!

Best Purchase
This shirt from REI has saved my life this winter. Running in New England in December and January outside is not my idea of a good time, but it had to be done so I purchased this shirt which is wick away fleece on the inside, a windbreaker on the outside. It even holds my iPOD on the arm pocket so I can listen to my tuns and run hands free.

Best Song
"Everything" by Micheal Buble

Friday, January 4, 2008

Warning: Not Suitable for a Sensative Palate!

So my employer Lloyd and I kicked off 2008 with this new excercise diet. WHY? Why do we do this to ourselves? He is working with a trainer and I have roped myself into running The Great Wall of China Marathon in May. Both of us were told to eat things like fish pills, multi-vitamins and protein shakes. Yuck! The Protein Shakes are killing me! They taste aweful and I am supposed to have atleast one full one a day to prevent snacking, yeah right! I'm forcing even half of one down...I've added banana, ice and peanut butter but nothing seems to suffice. If anyone has suggestions for how to get them down aside from injecting a feeding tube please by all means share!