Monday, August 5, 2013

M-Cubed for 8.5.2013

M-Cubed (Monday Morning Musings) for August Fifth, Two Thousand Thirteen...a random smattering of thoughts that end up here on Monday morning.

- Well good first-Monday-of-August to ya! August? August...yep. For my family, when August 1st arrives, several things are now reality: the marching band begins camp a mile away at the school, the county fair is only a few weeks away (oh yea...Amish funnel cake, here I come!), my wife heads back to work soon at a local college campus as the students are en route, and the school buses are about to be rolling once again! It has gone fast, this summer...it surely has. Keep rolling along, friends!

- 8 day vacation to central Florida a rap! We put on about 2800 miles on our car and had a very anti-touristy vacation. While our resort was in Orlando, we didn't visit any Disney theme parks this time around. Instead, we sought out what else Florida has to offer. On the way down, we chopped our trip in half and stayed overnight in western North Carolina with friends, just outside of Asheville. During our stay in Orlando, we made a few trips west to the beach outside Tampa which was a.m.a.z.i.n.g!!! Think white powdered sugar...for sand...and uncrowded beaches..and clear green-tinted water. That's it! One of my daughters even saw a stingray on our last visit. We also ventured north for everyone's favorite activity of the vacation: kayaking on the Rainbow River. The Rainbow is the largest spring-fed river in the world. Millions of fresh water fill this river daily which remains a constant 72F year-round.  We rented two tandem kayaks and enjoyed a day filled with lots of swimming, laughter, a steady current, and an awesome dinner with friends...and gator bites! We also spent a day at Sea World in Orlando. Being a military family, we got in for free (minus the $15 fee to park the car) and went straight to Shamu Stadium for a front-row seat in the Splash Zone. Oh yes, we did get soaked! One day in a tourist-crazy park confirmed to us that we certainly made the right call regarding staying away from the parks. Seriously...400 bucks just to get the four of us through the gate at one of those parks. 400! We just couldn't stomach that and opted for low cost/free things to do and create priceless memories. Absolutely no regrets and not a single, solitary complaint from our girls. We had a fantastic vacation!

- Day 2 of Challenge #2 today just after I click "publish" on today's post. Yesterday's totally unplanned 20 miler yielded zero soreness and was quite easy. Last night, I mentioned to my wife that I couldn't even tell that I ran yesterday. If you haven't read the challenge, check out August 4th's post here on my blog. It lays it all out for you.

- Last year, we hosted a small gathering at our former church for the Art of Marriage...and 2-day marriage event from FamilyLife. Now, plans are in motion to do it again at our new church home but this time, the response has been incredible. There is such a hunger to make our marriages a priority today so this is perfectly timed. We are really excited to lead this event once again this Fall! We are also very thankful for our new "family" which has so graciously accepted us and made us feel at home.

- I finally picked up my new 2-bottle UltrAspire waist pack yesterday at Hudson's Vertical Runner. I have found this summer that I really like running my events in a way where both of my hands are free. In the past, I've carried one bottle on my back and another in my hand. This allows me to carry some gear and put both bottles on my back. The unique thing about the new Impulse (click here for details) is that the two "sides" of it in the back move independent of each other as you run and your hips move opposite of each other with each stride. Less chafing and a more precise fit is what I'm going for here. I'm hoping I will really love this pack and it'll serve me well this Fall.

- We visited a small corn festival yesterday in Kent after a trip to Vertical Runner. It was held at a local apple orchard and was set to benefit the local Lions Club. Some live bluegrass music, a handful of vendors, and some fresh festival food were the offerings. We ended up leaving with a 1/2 peck (a small bag) of fresh peaches and before the night ended, my wife made a fresh peach crisp dessert that we all enjoyed after dinner. SO good!

- It's a new day and a new week, friends. Whatever good, bad, great, or ugly thing happened yesterday...well, it was yesterday! Today is a new opportunity to own and live life to its fullest extent. Decide to do that now and have no regrets! Choose to bless someone while you're at it and have a wonderful day and week!

Run Happy, friends!

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