Category Archives: Thankful Things Thursday

Thankful Things Thursday: On Friends, Team Challenge, and Pretty Dresses

Woohoo!  It’s Thankful Things Thursday again.  I look forward to this post all week.  It just makes me happy.

(Thanks, Ali, for letting me blatantly rip you off.)

I had a wonderful time last night at the Team Challenge Illinois Kick-off, but that deserves a post of its own.  So let’s dive right in, shall we?

I’m thankful for my BFF.  We met when we were 10 years old and have been friends ever since.  I’m so glad she lives close to me again so we can haul our butts to the gym together.  When I know she’s going to meet me for a class, I always show up.  I can’t say the same for plans that are only with myself.

I’m thankful for my generous friends and family.  After just a few e-mails and Facebook posts, I’m in awe of all the donations Goose and I have already received.  Our real fundraising letters haven’t even been sent yet!  (Though they were dropped off last night and should be coming to you early next week!)  I am grateful that so many of you see the importance of this cause.  The CCFA is an incredible organization and I’m honored to be fundraising for them.

Team Challenge is the bomb diggity.

I’m thankful for sore, tired muscles.  Barbell Strength class kicked my booty once again this week, and I’m still achy from Tuesday night’s class.  To classy tunes like “Push It,” “Ice Ice Baby,” and “Can’t Touch This,” I shredded my muscles to bits and pieces.  I can’t wait to do it again next week and I really can’t wait to start seeing a little definition in my arms… I hope.

I’m thankful for Google Reader.  I am a total blog junkie and I feel like I’m subscribing to a new one almost daily.  (And updating my Blog Love page every week or so!)  My Google Reader helps me stay on top of the blogs I love, all the while protecting me from the heartbreak of visiting a favorite blog to find it is not updated.

I’m thankful for a few freelance writing opportunities I’ve had lately.  I love the opportunity to grow as a writer, and a little extra cash never hurt.  In fact, I’m thinking of taking that freelance money and using it toward a fancy self-hosted blog.  Be excited for some snazzy changes around these parts.

I’m thankful for the amazing examples I have to teach me about marriage.   I will admit that, although this is very true, I only included it this week so that I could show you this.

My groovy parents. You're welcome.

I am certain that my mom will call me after she sees this post to remind me how in style they were in the 70s.  Whatever, Mom.  You look awesome.  So do Dad and his white tie.

I’m thankful for 90s music on the radio.  I heard Sugar Ray’s “Fly” yesterday and it made my heart happy.  I realize that I can choose to listen to 90s music whenever I want, but there’s something extra special about hearing it on the radio.  I am happy to admit that I busted out some awesome dance moves while singing along (loudly) in my car.

I’m thankful for the new dress that came in the mail yesterday.  I got it on clearance and it fits like a dream.

I’m thankful for early-morning phone calls from friends who know I’m awake at that hour.

I’m thankful for cool summer nights and mornings that reassure me that fall is coming.  Hoodie & jeans weather is my favorite.  It’s the best running weather, and also the best weather, period.

I’m thankful for Goose, who came home after a long day of teaching and coaching… and then picked up around the house.

Okay, tell me.  What are you thankful for today? When you’re finished telling me that, head on over and ask any questions you have about Ulcerative Colitis — write a comment or send an e-mail.  The Q&A will be posted on Friday!



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Thankful Things Thursday: On Comebacks & Goose’s Half Marathon

Hooray!  It’s Thursday.  I look forward to this day every week now, because it reminds me of how good life really is.  Oh yeah, it’s Thankful Things Thursday time.  I have so many things to be thankful for this week that I’m not even sure where to begin.  So let’s get a move on.

And yes, I blatantly stole this tradition from Ali at Ali on the Run.  Because it’s such a happy tradition, I know she doesn’t mind.

I’m thankful that Goose and I are running a half marathon together this December.  We’ve been talking about this idea for a while now, but last night we finally made it official.  Goose is running his very first half marathon on December 4, 2011.  We’re both taking on the Rock & Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon as part of Team Challenge to raise awareness and funds for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.  (Why, yes, that is a link to our fundraising page.)  I am bursting at the seams with excitement about this.  It’s my comeback race.  A sizable goal, but one I feel is entirely doable with my current health situation.  We get to raise money for a cause that is very close to my heart, join an amazing team of runners who support that cause, and I get to do it all with the love of my life by my side.

Our little 15 minute run on Sunday? That was a "let's see if we could be running buddies" run.

Goose has always, always held firm that he is not a runner.  I truly believed that there were just some hobbies that we’d never share, and that running was one of them.  He’s proving me wrong in a big way.  (Does this mean I have to play soccer now?)  I am so touched that he’s showing his support for me in this way.  (Feel like donating?  Head here.)

On that note, I’m thankful for Team Challenge.  We attended an information meeting last night and it was incredible.  Everyone was positive, enthusiastic, and supportive.  There were so many smiles in that room, it was out of control.  Coach Brad talked about how they plan the training locations around bathrooms for their participants with Crohn’s and UC.  It’s the little things.

And the free t-shirts.

So pretty.

I’m thankful for water.  No, seriously.  I’ve been drinking H2O like crazy this week, and I can’t believe how amazing it’s making me feel.  No headaches.  No eating random things just because they’re around.  How did I not know water did all these things?  Clearly, I’ve been living in a box or something.

I’m thankful that Ali is ordering more of the infamous I [heart] Sweat tees. I think Goose and I each need one for our new half marathon training adventure, don’t you?

I’m thankful for the music at Tuesday’s Barbell Strength class.  Techno-ish versions of Enrique Iglesias’s “Hero” and “Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” by Britney Spears?  Yes, please.  It kept me smiling when my muscles were crying.

I’m thankful for the College and Teen editions of Jeopardy!  Goose loves some Jeopardy! and I like to feel smart.  With the not-quite-grownup editions, we both win.

Thanks for making me feel smart.

I’m thankful for leftovers.  We had dinner at my parents’ house last weekend, and we have two or three meals in leftovers sitting in the freezer right now.  This means I don’t have to cook dinner tonight, and I have my choice of my brother’s garlic pepper chicken or my dad’s yummy homemade ribs.  Decisions, decisions.

I’m thankful for my gastroenterologist.  I am so, so excited to be running again.  I wouldn’t be bouncing back without his guidance, knowledge, and support of my goals.

I’m thankful that I was nominated for CBS Chicago’s Most Valuable Blogger.  You can vote if you want.  Yes, this is a shameless plug.

I’m thankful for the kind of friendship where you can go for months without talking and pick up right where you left off.  I caught up with my friend Molly this week and we didn’t miss a beat.  Part of this is probably because she seriously stalks my blog, so I just had to get caught up on her life.  She already knew about mine.  Still, there’s something to be said for the kind of carefree, close friendship that doesn’t need constant maintenance but is always there.

And who doesn't love a girl who will carry your lip gloss in her cleavage on your wedding day and help you reapply it 97 times? (Photo: Becky Hill Photography)

I’m thankful for Whole Living magazine. It shows up at my house monthly and I don’t know why.  But it does have some pretty rad articles, so I’m going to be a little sad if it ever stops.  Probably not sad enough to subscribe, though, if I’m honest.

I’m thankful for this week’s absolutely gorgeous weather. (Knock on wood.)  It’s been in the 70s and 80s every single day this week, with a light breeze and no humidity.  What more could you ask for?  We even slept with the windows open for a few nights.  Heavenly.

Your turn. What are you thankful for today?


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Thankful Things Thursday: Rested

I am really starting to love my Thursday blog posts.  Every Thursday, I’m a little happier that I swiped this idea from Ali at Ali on the Run.  (But hey, at least I give her credit every week, right?)

So let’s go.

I’m thankful for CCFA, Casey Abrams, Janssen Biotech, and everyone involved with the new IBD Icons campaign.  Let’s face it.  Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are not the cutest diseases to talk about.  Okay, no disease is cute to talk about.  But taking on a campaign to discuss a disease that has its main symptoms revolving around poop?  It took me 6 years before I was openly talking about my UC with my family and friends. Casey has been thrust into it because he happened to have a flare up while on American Idol.

I’m so glad that he joined the campaign to make something good from this, and I’m glad they’re spreading the word about Crohn’s & Colitis.  These diseases are so much more than their symptoms make them seem.  I’m happy for the public awareness and education. (And okay, the events I attended over the weekend were fun, too.)

I’m thankful for a week off from work with nowhere to go.  It sounds silly, but I am so glad we didn’t plan a last-minute trip or anything when I found out I had the week off.  I have been laying around, getting laundry done (well, a little), working out when I feel like it, watching FRIENDS on DVD, and spending too much time reading blogs and browsing the web.  And I love it.  I am the queen of over-scheduling myself, and it’s rare that we even have a weekend free.  All of this time to unwind has been incredible for me.  It’s also got me feeling much, much better.  Dare I say I’m feeling 90% back to normal?  (Yay!)

I’m thankful for working out when I feel like it. I love, love, love training for races.  So much so that I’m almost always training for one.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m already plotting my next move (assuming I’m feeling back to normal by the end of August), but I am really enjoying doing what I want, when I want.  Sure, I want to make sure I’m staying active and getting in 4 – 5 workouts each week.  But I don’t care if they are all cardio or all at the pool or all yoga or all whatever.  I am just having fun.  I don’t think I’ve ever done this in my running life.  I think I could get used to it.

I’m thankful for FRIENDS.  No, not my actual friends (though I’m thankful for them, too) but the DVD collection that Goose brought into our lives when we got married.  I may be a little addicted to season 5 right now.  Just saying.  (I love Chandler and Monica. Sigh.)



I’m thankful for Hallmark.  Yes, I’m 26 and I have a Gold Crown Rewards Card.  I love cards.  I love real mail — sending and receiving.  (In fact, if you want to get real mail, e-mail me your address and I’ll send you some love.)  I just bought some cards that made me really excited to give/send them.  I can spend hours in any card store, but Hallmark takes the cake.

I’m thankful for naps.  Have I mentioned I’ve been really enjoying my lazy time this week?

I’m thankful for my family.  Both the family I was born into and Goose’s family. They’re  both mine now, and I am the luckiest girl ever.  I’m going to see The Help with my mom and Goose’s mom tonight.  Hooray for girl bonding and double hooray for the fact that our families like each other so much.

And now, back to my day of food, laying around, and watching lots and lots of FRIENDS until it’s movie time tonight.  (Don’t worry.  This week is coming to an end soon, and then I’ll be an actual productive adult again, and you won’t have to hear about my hours and hours of being a lazy human being.)

What are you thankful for today?


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Thankful Things Thursday: Vacation!

Yesterday was my “Friday” at work.  Meaning today is the first day of a 10 day vacation for me. (I’m staying home, but still.) Clearly, there is a lot for me to be thankful for this Thursday, so we might as well get started.

(In case you forgot, Thankful Things Thursday is my new tradition that I borrowed stole from Ali at Ali on the Run.)

I’m thankful for bonfires. The weather is finally cooling down in Illinois (and all over the continental US), or so it seems.  It has been too hot and humid to have bonfires the last few weeks, and I’m excited to start those suckers up again.  Mostly I’m excited for the s’mores that come with the bonfires.  And the friends.

I’m thankful for staying up late and sleeping in.  I plan to do both of these things constantly during my time off.  There is nothing better than waking up and realizing you only have to get out of bed if you want to, or staying up to watch just one more episode of Dawson’s Creek. (I plan to watch a bunch of Dawson’s Creek during my time off, too. You know you wish you could join me.)

I’m thankful for the yumz that just opened near my house. You know, because the ten minute drive to their other location was just too much to handle.  I will probably begin to consume way too much frozen yogurt.  That’s okay with me.


I’m thankful for my membership the Museum of Science & Industry.  Oh, the fun we had there last weekend.  I love that place.  Yeah, I’m a nerd.  I don’t care.

I am a scientist too!

I’m thankful for my husband’s love of 90s pop music.  It would be sad to belt out all those songs alone.

I’m thankful for my favorite meal, my mom’s pepper steak.  Hey Mom, I haven’t had that in a long time.  Just saying.

I’m thankful for this blog post that reminded me to “wake up full of awesome.”  I plan on waking up like that every single day from now on.  Pink sunglasses and all.

I’m thankful for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s Illinois Chapter.  They are letting me take on some social media projects as a Team Challenge volunteer and I couldn’t be more excited about it!

I’m thankful that my high school friends didn’t judge me for my ridiculous bangs.  I understand if they talked about them behind my back.  Honestly, I’m grateful they were seen in public with me.

This is my bangs on a good day. I refuse to post a bad day.

I’m thankful for my mom, who stayed home with my brother and me.  If I am half the mom that she is, any children I have will be ridiculously lucky.  She is nice.

Momma and me, circa 1987. We are awesome.

I’m thankful for peanut butter.  It’s delicious.  I’m also thankful that my husband buys it in really gigantic jars from Costco.

I’m thankful for the wall of bookshelves in my office at home.  Although it’s still not quite the library from Beauty & the Beast, it’s still super rad.  Being surrounded by books makes me happy.

Okay, ready, set, go… tell me what you’re thankful for today!

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My First (But Not Last) Thankful Things Thursday

Every Thursday, Ali over at Ali on the Run posts Thankful Things Thursday.  Because I like this tradition so much, you’re probably sick of hearing about my colon, and, well, there’s less to write about when I’m not training for anything… I give you my very first Thankful Things Thursday.

I am hoping this little tradition will help me focus on all of the good things in my life.  I’m a pretty lucky girl, and I think I do a relatively good job of remembering that, but I am certain that this will make me realize it even more!

I’m thankful for my job.  I’ve been thinking a lot this week about how fun my job really is.  Leaving teaching was a huge leap, and every single day I’m grateful that I made that decision.  My life is so much happier and less stressful now!  I look forward to going to work every single day.  With a 5:00 am wake up call, that’s really saying something.

I’m thankful that Goose and I live so close to our parents.  My parents and inlaws are the best ever.  I love that we can show up just to visit whenever.  Last week, my dad and Goose replaced our shower door and did some other much-needed handiwork.  It was wonderful to have his help!

Parents. We all dress like this all the time. (Photo courtesy Becky Hill Photography)

I’m thankful that I’m not broken after yesterday’s less-than-stellar yoga experience. I actually feel more stretched out and a little less sore today.  Imagine that.

I’m thankful for my girlfriends, who are making August 12 – 14 “Lauren Weekend,” at my house.  August 14 is Steelhead 70.3, and they were all going to make the trip to watch me race.  As one of them put it, “Just because you’re not racing doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate you!”  I am beyond thrilled that they’ve decided to come (which is even farther for some of them) so we can still all spend time together.  I love them to bits.  (And I can’t wait to go see the Glee movie with them!)

These ladies are super rad.

I’m thankful for all the blogs I’ve found lately that are written by people with Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s. My life would have been entirely different at the time of my diagnosis if I’d had these blogs to read.  They make me feel like I’m not alone and I’m not crazy.  I feel a sense of community with these people, even though I’ve never met them.  It’s all kinds of awesome.

I’m thankful that Hanson is playing not one, but two concerts here in September and I am going to both.  I haven’t bought tickets yet, but rest assured that I will be there.

Yes, I joined Hanson's Fan Club and won a Meet & Greet. I'm not ashamed.

I’m thankful for swimming.  I just taught myself to really swim last winter, and it is proving to be the best recovery workout ever.  I am so glad I can still workout without putting too much stress on my body.

I’m thankful for a sneak peak of the Hunger Games actors.  Yum.

In keeping with Ali’s tradition, tell me.  What are you thankful for today?


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