Tag Archives: ten day you challenge

Four Books

Since I didn’t post for a couple of weeks, and I posted only marathony stuff before that, it’s been a while since I’ve added to Kristen’s Ten Day You Challenge. But I’m no quitter (just a dragger-outer), so today I’m continuing with Four Books.

(Here are my other posts: ten secrets, nine loves, eight fears, seven wants, six places, five foods)

10 day you challenge

Books are my favorite things in the history of ever. Choosing just four was tough, and I already wrote about my favorite running books. Today,  I decided to discuss four books that had major impacts on me at different times in my life.

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Anne of Green Gables. When people what ask my favorite book is, I can never answer, but if I had to choose, I’d pick this one. Or really, this one and the two after it. Growing up as an awkward redhead, I had a lot in common with Anne. And I learned a lot from her — about self-acceptance, about thinking before speaking, and even about love. And I always know when I’ve met a “kindred spirit” if they know what I’m talking about when I say “kindred spirit.”

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Atlas Shrugged. Yes, Ayn Rand had some unique and controversial philosophical ideas. But when I was a 19-year-old college sophomore who had never really thought about anything beyond my little circle of existence, Ayn Rand led me to think about money and politics and power. And those are things that everyone needs to learn to really think about and analyze. Have my views changed since then? Of course. But this book was one of the first that really led me to think philosophically and question the status quo, and that’s a good thing.

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Smashed. This one’s not quite the classic that the other two are, but it had a significant impact on me. Koren Zailckas writes about her experiences with partying and alcohol, and they are scary. I read this the summer after my junior year of college, and while I was never what anyone would call “wild,” this book made me question a lot of what I was doing (and the company I was keeping), why I was doing it, and where it would lead. I kept a copy of this book in my classroom library, and it disappeared a few years ago. I hope that’s because it impacted some other girl’s life, too.

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Lean In. When I started this book, I wasn’t sure how much of it would apply to me. I’m a teacher. I’m not exactly climbing the corporate ladder. But Sandberg’s advice is applicable to all women, and it’s changed a lot of what I do at work. I now have more confidence to speak my mind and stand up for what I believe is right and best for the kids. I think that’s a lot of why I’m now on our district leadership team. So thanks, Sheryl.

What are your top four most impactful books?

Read anything good lately that you’d recommend?

Seven Wants

I took a  break from the Ten Day You Challenge last week, since I wanted to write a post for my dad’s birthday and then check in on my 30-before-30 goals.  Today, I’m jumping back in with my seven wants. As usual, thanks to Kristin for creating this series!


At first, I was going to simply list things I want — trail running shoes, warm running gloves for this winter, etc. — but that was kinda boring. Then I was going to list bigger, societal things I wanted, but that felt superficial.

If you don’t know which movie that gif came from, we probably can’t be friends.

I finally decided to list seven things I want that either don’t exist or are impossible for me to get. So here are seven things I would have in my ideal world:

  1. A device that I could point at the people I love, and it would make all the things that hurt them just… stop hurting them.
  2. A service that delivers fresh fruits and veggies whenever I want them. And I don’t mean a CSA, though those seem nice. The service I want would bring me freshly picked asparagus at 7:45 p.m. on a Tuesday in January. That would be awesome.
  3. This ranch:
    photo 2Or one like it.
  4. A job whose requirements are as follows: a. Travel to the most beautiful places on Earth b. Run all over said beautiful places  c. Bring your husband and friends on these trips whenever you want.
  5. A chocolate cheesecake that is filled with all the nutrients the body needs and none of the stuff that is bad for us … but it tastes exactly like regular chocolate cheesecake.

    (image from thecheesecakefactory.com. J and I saw a slice of this today, and I said it looked like divine obesity.)
  6. A transporter, old-school Star Trek style, that would “beam me up” and instantly place me wherever I want to be.
  7. A world where alarm clocks are not necessary, and everyone could always get at least 8 hours of quality sleep each night.

On that note… I’m off to get as close to that eight hours as I can, since I live in a world where alarm clocks are necessary. Have a great night, friends!

What would you have in your ideal world?

Eight Fears

I meant to write this post yesterday and post it last night, because all the “how to be a good blogger” articles say to post at consistent times, and I usually post on Tuesdays. But then I decided to do yoga instead (out of character, I know), so once again, I’m not doing things the good bloggers do. Guess how much I care. 

Anyway, I’m continuing on with Kristin’s Ten Day You Challenge. (P.S. If you don’t read Kristin’s blog, do it! She’s training for an Ironman. I’m exhausted just reading her training recaps). I didn’t really want to write today’s post, because fears are… scary. And I don’t want to think about them. But I have to write this one to get to to “seven wants,” and my materialistic side wants to write that one, so here it goes.


1. Mice. Is there a worse creature? If there is, I don’t want to know about it. Every fall, my poor husband endures my nagging until I’m sure he has stuffed steel wool into every possible place a mouse could maybe consider getting into our house. If one ever gets in, I am moving out. Because ick. (Also, I really hope no student ever reads this and uses this information for evil purposes.)
This is not a realistic depiction of the horror that is mice.

2. Losing someone I love. I have been fortunate in my almost-29 years on this planet, as I have not lost anyone close to me. Although I know it is a natural part of life, I don’t want to deal with it. Ever. On that same note —

3. Losing a student. This is, unfortunately, something that I have experienced. And it’s dreadful, and it hurts, and I want it to never happen again.

4. Conflict. It might seem crazy to list this as a fear, but it really is. I hate conflict and try to avoid it at all costs… which usually then just makes more conflict. And yet I just keep repeating this cycle, because I am smart.

5. Regret. I fear that one day, I’ll wake up and be 85 years old and have a long list of “I wish I would’ves.” So I’m trying to go places, and experience things, and build and foster relationships, so that fear never becomes reality.

6. Failure. This goes hand-in-hand with my fear of having regrets. My fear of failure keeps me from taking certain risks… but then not taking them leads to regret. So… something to work on.

7. Parenting. I’ve mentioned before that, at least right now, I don’t want kids. Along with just not wanting them, I have a healthy fear of being a parent. Kids are easy to screw up. And they are mildly terrifying, too.

8. Any story from those horrible Dateline special features. You know the ones: “A quiet little town. A warm summer night. An open window, and a woman home alone… who was never seen again.” Seriously, that crap is spine-chilling… and that’s what I don’t like it when Jordan goes out of town.

What are some of your fears (rational or irrational)?

Ten Secrets

Several of my favorite bloggers have been posting this “Ten Day You Challenge.” I’ve really enjoyed reading their posts, so I finally went to the source of the challenge — Kristin at Sweat Courage — where I discovered yet another blog to add to my Feedly to try to find time to read. And then I decided to jump in on this Ten Day You Challenge, too.


This first post of ten secrets definitely fit the challenge part of the title. It was tough to come up with ten secrets to post, because let’s face it — if it’s really a secret, I don’t want it on the interwebs. And really, I don’t have many secrets, anyway. So this is really more a list of “things you may not know about me.” If you know me in real life, it might not even be that. Oh well. I hope you enjoy it, regardless!

1. I really, really hate talking on the phone. I don’t mind talking to my parents, but they’re the only ones. I hate calling to set up appointments, or order food, or get tech support. I just hate it. I don’t know why.

2. I have to make bathroom stops on probably 85 percent of my runs. This is a huge reason that I’m always nervous about running with other people!

3. I don’t want kids. Maybe I’ll change my mind in the next few years, but I doubt it. I will readily admit that I am selfish, and I like to do my own thing, on my own time, with my husband, and not have to take care of little people. J and I will just spoil our nieces and nephews instead.
photo 1
4. My biggest regret is that I didn’t study abroad in college. It was the one time in my life that I could have lived in another country without worrying about things like a husband and a real job and responsibilities, and I didn’t do it because it was expensive. That was dumb.

5. If I could, I would move somewhere else in Colorado. I love my house and my job. I like my community, and I like small towns in general. But even after seven years here, I miss more than ever the mountains, my friends and family, and the more active communities on the Western slope and the Front Range.

Hi, mountains. I miss you.
Hi, mountains. I miss you.

6. I took piano lessons from when I was eight years old until I graduated from high school. Although I haven’t played much since, I don’t regret sticking with it for so long. It taught me discipline, exposed me to music I otherwise wouldn’t know, and gave me a lot of pleasure. Someday, I’d like to have a piano again (and, you know, the time to play it).

7. I have a hard time making new friends. As a kid, making friends was easy. In college, making friends was easy. As an adult? I’m the socially awkward penguin and making friends is not easy. At all.

Sarah, who is my best friend here, basically had to say, “We’re going to be friends now,” and then make it happen. And I’m so glad she did. (P.S. Sarah, we need to take some pictures together).

8. Although I absolutely love teaching, sometimes I think about a career change. I have a lot of other interests — nutrition, fitness, nature — that would also be fun to pursue. But don’t worry; I’m not leaving teaching anytime soon!

9. In my early teens, I worked out to a Richard Simmons cassette tape my mom had. I loved it. I’d kind of like to work out with Richard Simmons again.

Don’t judge. Richard Simmons is the stuff. (image source)

10. When I started this blog, I wanted to be a big-league blogger (you know the type). And then I realized how much work that is, and I’m not willing to put in that much time and effort. So now I’m happy being a little-league blogger.

Tell me one of your secrets! Or just comment on one of mine. 🙂