everyday inspiration

Posts tagged “challenge

“I have finished.”

“In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.‘ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.”
-Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

This morning, I pushed myself. I pushed myself to get out of bed. I pushed myself to put on my running shoes. I pushed myself to have a positive attitude about the 2 miles ahead of me. I pushed myself to cross the finish line.

And it felt remarkable.

I wouldn’t consider myself athletic or a runner, but I did it. I challenged myself in a way I haven’t in a long time.

I wasn’t prepared for the run. Husband and I were running consistently for a few months, but stopped the past few weeks. Then I remembered we’d already signed up for the ALS Run in Downtown Bentonville. I literally had dreams all night that I was the last person crossing the finish line and it was humiliating.

Good news – I wasn’t the last, not even close, but even if I had been, it would have been okay. As I was running this morning, I just kept telling myself I can do it. I can push myself harder than I think I can. I let my body take over instead of my mind telling me I couldn’t do it anymore, and I realized how amazing it felt just to be running, regardless of where I was in the pack.

As I’m basking in my satisfaction of doing something I was so fearful of, I have a few thank you’s –

Thank you to my husband for constantly pushing me on our morning runs and giving me the positive reinforcement I need.

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Thank you to my mother for encouraging our running and signing up with us, and most importantly staying by my side during the run this morning as we pushed along together.

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And finally, thank you to Queen Bey for getting me across the finish line with her flawless songs.

xo xo

Lent Update: Thankful + My Sweet Tooth

Lent is a little more than halfway over so I thought it was about time to give an update on my challenges. I’ve done poorly in one and very well in another … can you guess which is which??

Surprisingly, I’ve done poorly in something I thought would be so easy, too easy – taking a photo every day of something I’m thankful for. At first, it was a fun challenge, but now it’s gotten harder and I’m getting lazier. It’s not that I’m not thankful for so many things, but it’s often hard to capture that in a photo in the moment. I have my good days and my bad days of remembering. But overall it’s definitely served it’s purpose – reminding me to recognize the small things in my everyday life that I have to be thankful for. My last post showed days 5-13, below are days 14-24.

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{Day 14: I’m thankful for Spring so I can wear peep-toe wedges and bright polish! #lent #40daychallenge#springishere #shoelove}

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 6.24.48 PM{Day 15: I’m thankful for large Diet Coke Fridays – something I’m allowing myself only once a week these days! #lent #40daychallenge #dietcokeobsession #tgif}

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 6.25.09 PM{Day 17: I’m so thankful for this gorgeous guy I get to call my husband {all day and every day, but specifically thinking about him today} ❤️ #lent #40daychallenge#mcm #aruba #honeymoon #throwback}

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 6.25.26 PM{Day 19: I’m thankful for amazing opportunities to experience art at a world class museum in my little hometown. #lent #40daychallenge #modernism#crystalbridges #picasso #matisse}

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{Day 22: I’m thankful for this beauty on our mini spring break getaway. #lent #40daychallenge #hotsprings#sunset #lakehamilton}

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 6.26.17 PM{Day 23: I’m thankful for the little moments that make me happy. #lent #40daychallenge}

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 6.26.36 PM{Day 24: I’m thankful for a new month and a fresh beginning. #lent #40daychallenge}

As for this infamous sweet tooth – it’s killing me! So, when I first started this no desserts for Lent journey it was very hard. I was going through withdrawal symptoms daily. Then after about a week or so, they went away. I’d practically forgotten about desserts and how amazing they taste. I sighed with relief at how easy the rest of Lent was going to be. Then there’s been the last week or so and it.has.been.torture! The purpose of fasting for Lent is to rely on God instead of these other things. Well, I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve prayed to God to take away my craving and focused on Him instead. I’ve definitely lived out the purpose, maybe more so than other years, but even so I’m here to tell ya – nothing is going to stop me on Easter morning from eating ice cream for breakfast.

xo xo 

The Three Week Cooking Challenge // Conclusion

WHEW. It was a long three weeks. In part because we were cooking every single night (a rarity in the Alderman home), but also in part because I was so eager to get to my birthday weekend in Vegas! In all honesty, I have no clue what we ate for Week 3 of the challenge, but we held on strong and ate in every night.

By the end of the three weeks, we were craving eating out (are we the only ones like that?? is that strange??) and luckily we were headed to a city with some of the finest and most diverse food you can find within a 2 mile radius. As I ate other people’s creations, I was reminded how much I love food and why I love eating out so much. It’s not the fact that cooking is difficult (sometimes it is) or that you have a lot to clean afterwards (usually it is) or that you have to plan ahead every single day what you’re going to cook (yes it is), but the fact that my cooking isn’t nearly as good as others. There’s not much fun in my cooking or much “brava.” It’s just food. But aren’t we supposed to really enjoy food? Well, I really enjoy food when it’s cooked by someone else.

All that to say, I don’t think I’ll ever be a master chef, but I have realized it’s not as difficult as I thought it was and it’s doable to cook every night. It also helps that I got a PERFECT new cookbook for my birthday from a dear friend – Robin Takes 5: 500 recipes, 5 ingredients or less, 500 calories or less, 5 nights a week at 5:00 pm – I mean, is there a more perfect cookbook for me?!

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Now, enjoy some food porn from our Las Vegas vacation …


{sausage balls, XNA}


{vanilla + nutella creme puffs with banana gelato, Scarpetto}


{arugula + parmigiano reggiano salad, sausage + peppers pizza, Otto Enoteco – Mario Batali}


{housemade beer brat, Public House}


{brunch, The Wicked Spoon}


{decadence, Jean Phillipe Patisserie}

xo xo

You might also enjoy: The Three Week Cooking Challenge // Week 1, The Three Week Cooking Challenge // Week 2

The Three Week Cooking Challenge

As you may or may not know, we’re not the biggest fans of cooking.

As you may or may not know, we’re going to Vegas in 3 weeks.

As you may or may not know, Vegas is expensive.

Thus, the Three Week Cooking Challenge was born.


Husband and I are trying to save money for Vegas, and currently one of the things that sneaks most of our money is eating out. SO we’ve decided to challenge ourselves and not eat out until Vegas – approximately 17 days. Does that sound easy to you? Because to me, it sounds like just about the most difficult thing in the world. A few tips I think will ease the pain …

1. Work as a husband and wife team. One night I cook, one night he cooks. One night I plan, one night he plans. One night I clean, one night he cleans.

2. Leftovers are your best friend.

3. Dinner doesn’t have to be a production. Sometimes a grilled cheese and soup is all you need.

4. Frozen meals & frozen veggies are also your best friends. Lately, we’ve really been enjoying Bon Appetit Steamed Baked Meals for Two.

5. I plan on looking at this as a “class” to learn a new hobby. Instead of a knitting class, I’m taking my own cooking class.

6. We have about 25 cookbooks currently collecting dust, so I think it’s time to bust them out.

7. Crockpot. CROCKPOT! The best ever kitchen invention.

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So friends, we need all the help we can get. Share your favorite easy meal in the comments below!

I’ll keep you updated on our challenge. xo xo