Thinking Out Loud #2

Happy Thursday! The week is almost over–yipee!

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for Thinking Out Loud today. Today’s musings:

1. I am so excited because I only have ONE class today and will be done before lunch! It’s definitely nice to be back in school, but between classes, homework, and just general living, my days are pretty full.

My view this weekend...I'll take it!

My view this weekend…I’ll take it! (SOURCE)

2. Fortunately, I am heading out on a mini-vacation this weekend. One of my best friends is getting married in October, so we’re celebrating her bachelorette weekend! Her maid of honor set us up with a house on Lake Michigan, and we’re going to celebrate with some quality girl time. On my drive up, I am picking up friends who are flying in from Alaska and El Paso, Texas…seriously, my  girlfriends are amazing, and I can’t wait to spend the whole weekend catching up!

3. Speaking of my awesome friends…many of you may not be following this, but the military is really working to open more doors for women lately. One of the headlining issues has been sending female Soldiers to the notoriously-male Ranger School. Ranger School is historically the most challenging school the Army has to offer. It’s 61 straight days of intense training, patrolling, sleep and food deprivation. Each “phase” is 20 or 21 days long, and many Soldiers have to repeat one or more phases in order to graduate. Just over twenty women qualified for the chance to attend this spring, and last week three highly qualified women passed the first phase and moved closer to graduating. I personally know one of the three, and she is not only tough as nails but also an awesome person! Please keep these women in your thoughts and prayers as they complete this journey.

The watermelon in Afghanistan didn't look this good, but it taste like a million bucks!

The watermelon in Afghanistan didn’t look this good, but it taste like a million bucks!

4. Now, speaking of military things…I had a little flashback yesterday while slicing some watermelon. At this point in 2013, I was deployed to Afghanistan. And it was HOT. I had one particular mission in June where my unit was about 100 miles from the nearest base for 6 days straight. We could not get enough water! Even though we had water air-dropped daily, it wasn’t super satisfying at 100+ degrees. One afternoon, an Afghan man pulled up with a truck of watermelon and started bartering with us! Every Soldier had something different to give the man–pens, energy drinks, Skittles, instant coffee–but everyone ended up with a watermelon! That had to be the absolute most satisfying watermelon I ever ate in my life!

The very last Krispie Treat :(

The very last Krispie Treat 😦

5. And finally, since Amanda’s hosting today: Your Protein Rice Krispie Treats are awesome! I made them with Cascadian Farm Honey O’s instead of rice cereal, and Hubs and I devoured them! Definitely a keeper!

Are you a beach person, or a lake person? I prefer the beach in the winter, but I’m a lake girl in the summer!

What’s the most refreshing thing you’ve had this summer? 

-Erin

Thursdays are For…Thinking Out Load #1

Since I’m new to this blogging thing…I’m going to link up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursdays!

Thinking-Out-Loud2

Have you managed to get caught in a summer storm? I did on Tuesday…by accident.

It all started when I decided it was “too rainy” to run in the morning. So as my afternoon class was wrapping up, I checked the weather. Perfect! The rain was stopping from about 3:30 to about 6pm.

I got home and laced up….

Ready to Run!

Ready to Run!

But a mile and a half in, the skies opened up and it started to pour.

My first though: I can’t believe I ditched my Lifeproof iPhone case last week.

So, here I am, about 2 miles from home, PRAYING that my phone will make it through the run. I pulled out my headphones, rolled them up in my armband, and stuck the whole thing in my sports bra. Because it was truly the only slightly dry place to put it.

I then proceeded to run the next 2 miles sans music, which isn’t something I hadn’t done in months. Since we can’t use headphones in our military uniforms, I’ve been enjoying my time as a full-time student who doesn’t have to work out with a unit every day.

It was amazing. It was me, soaking wet, blazing through the warm raindrops, sopping wet braid flapping back and forth, shoes squeaking with every step. It was peaceful, relaxing, and nostalgic. It was everything I remember about being caught in a summer rainstorm.

It wasn’t the rainstorms, per say. But I have so many memories of being caught in the rain. My first true memory of childhood involved sneaking outside with my baby brother to splash around the backyard—in a summer rainstorm. [Side Note: My baby sister was born that day, and we got caught by our grandpa. This may explain why I remember it so well, despite being 4 years old.]

When I finally made it home, my iPhone still worked! So I ditched it, and went back out to finish my 5-miler. It felt great to throw aside my inhibition and just run again. The rain had slowed to a drizzle, and kids were racing outside to play again. I watched a pair of toddlers splashing in the little puddles in their driveway. Just like I remembered. It was so perfect.

Post run...soaking wet, but feeling awesome!

Post run…soaking wet, but feeling awesome!

And, to make it even better, I CRUSHED my run. Five miles in 37 minutes, something I haven’t done in months. Good things happen when you really, truly love what you’re doing!

Have you been caught in a summer storm yet?

-Erin