Monday, September 12, 2011

Playing Catch Up! :: The Real Reason I Abandoned My Blog

So the real reason I abandoned my blog is because I've been busy piecing together my genealogy!

It's so fun, but terribly time consuming.

Why did I decide to undertake such a daunting and, at times, overwhelming project?

1. I was inspired by the TV show Who Do You Think You Are?
2. Free Trial on!
3. Found out (on Ancestry) that one of my relatives already had a wealth of information about my Opa.
4. My friend Audra also expressed interest in documenting her genealogy so we decided to do it together. We've even been giving each other weekly homework assignments!
5. No one else in my family seems interested or willing to do the work.
6. I can compile all my work into the Heritage Makers Database to create a high-quality scrapbook at the click of a mouse.
7. I only have two grandparents left, one from each side of the family. Facts are easy to collect; but to capture a life on paper you need more that facts, you need memories.
8. I want to learn more of where I came from so that I may better understand myself.
9. I've become a bit nostalgic these last couple of years. (I don't know why) I just want to preserve and relive the past as much as possible.
10.  I really needed ANOTHER hobby. (Not Really)

Check out my progress:

While working on this project I got a song stuck in my head that I haven't listened to in years. Weird!

Listen to it here:

I used this phrase in my book:

I wish my eyes could trace the years
To watch the stories I now hear
But in our words they are still alive and we have not lost anything...from there to here

This is where I'm from
And we will pass it on
So take it as it comes
Cause it belongs to me

I have a LONG way to go. I'll try to update you on my progress when it looks like I've made some. ;)

Do you know much about your ancestry? Did that knowledge change you in anyway?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Playing Catch Up! :: Trip To The Lou :: The St. Louis Zoo

In July, Ryan and I flew home for a wedding. While there we visited the St. Louis Zoo with my mom, sister, brother, and our dear friends The Rupperts! The St. Louis Zoo, located just outside the city in Forest Park, is the 3rd largest Zoo in the country. It's ranked as one of the best Zoos in the country. Oh, and did I mention it's FREE?! Even most of the parking is free if you're willing to walk a bit.  

Here are the highlights:

The metal sculpture is outside the Zoo, the garden is in it. 

My brother John. Ryan with Anikin. 

Walking on a trail surrounded by waterfalls and luscious greenery. 

Anikin and Kat making their way through a tunnel. The Ruppert Family. :)

This and the Stingray exhibit were my favorites.

Anikin watching the Hyena. 

Elephants! The mama and baby were having a lot of fun in the water. 

The Stingray and Shark exhibit! Very neat! You could pet and feed them.

My mom pet the big shark! :O

Margret learning how to feed the Stingrays.

Margret posing with the penguin. Haha

Ok let me explain the weirdness. So when Ryan and I first met back in '05 we went on a scavenger hunt in Forest Park with a group of people on our Campus Crusade Internship. One of the tasks on the list was to imitate a puffin. So Ryan volunteered and I snapped the picture with my old Cannon SLR film camera. We thought it would be fun to recreate that pic again. Hehe Glad to see my photography skills have improved! :)

Ah, nature, I miss you! Hibiscus flower, crane, butterfly & bee.

Giraffs taking cover in the shade. Anikin all tuckered out.

Although we didn't ride it, I still took a picture of the train that runs through the entire Zoo. 
My brother John with his favorite "animal." Reminds me of the scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Same kind of snake and everything! 

So what do you think?! How does it compare to Zoos you've been to? 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Playing Catch Up! :: The Half Marathon Update

Yea, it's been a while. Sorry bout that. As you can see, my blog got a makeover! Hooray!

A LOT has been going on since my last post! I'm going to try to play catch up these next couple of weeks.

First off :: I ran (and finished) my first half marathon on March 12th. 
6 Tunnels to Hoover Dam Race, Las Vegas, NV

Start of the race...I think. Since it was around St. Patrick's Day,  it was Irish themed. There was a guy playing a bagpipe and everything! Haha! 
Half-way point!
See, proof that I finished!
That's how I felt right after I crossed the finish line.

My teammates! They all did amazing!
(From Left) Sabrina, Me, Maryann, Ariana 
Making the trek back to the car. It was a beautiful place to run as you can tell!

My race time.
Recap of the Race ::

It was an incredible experience. The first half was a steady incline, followed by a steep decline, and then we turned around. I completed the first 6 miles strong, ready to take on the next 7. For the second half we ran through 6 old railway tunnels that had been carved out of the mountains. They were gigantic and a sweet relief from the sun! There were remnants of what looked like wooden supports poking through here and there.  The course was flat up until the last mile or so which had us zigzag down a hill, climb another hill that was so steep I could hardly walk it, and the turn around. Although a beautiful course, the inclines were a little much and the last 7 miles we had to run on gravel! Ugh. I had to watch my footing the whole time for fear of tripping over the occasional large rock.

I could not have done the 6 months of training, suffer through tendinitis in my Achilles tendon, got up a the crack of dawn to run before an 8 hour shift at work, or completed this race if it had not been for my Lord, Jesus, my teammates, Ryan, scripture, prayer, rockin' tunes, and a good pair of shoes. I needed EVERY support system I had to do this because it was not, at any point, easy. I was not a runner before I began this journey and I am still in awe that I actually did this!

Thank you Ryan for taking all the pictures! :)

For more pics, follow the link...