Simple Joy Saturday #44

Simple Joy Saturday #44

On Saturdays, I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week.  These posts may grow or change as time passes.  Please feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments section!

simple joy saturday logo from kats9lifes

It’s been a while since I shared my weekly joys, not because my life has lacked joy but because my life has lacked time.

October 13-19, 2018

1. Electricity

Hurricane Michael stole the electricity at my apartment on Thursday, October 11 at 5:00pm.  After watching the Duke Energy website all day at work on Friday, I decided to stay with my parents until electricity was restored.  I finally regained power on Sunday after 4:00 pm.

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The Treadmill Life

The Treadmill Life

The treadmill is good.  On cold, rainy days, the treadmill provides a warm, dry workout.  I use the treadmill often in the dark winter months when I rely heavily on artificial light.  However, the treadmill is also a boring road to nowhere.  It is a paltry falsification of the real thing: a run outside.




Running outside is better.  I can think of few things that are more relaxing than a warm, breezy outdoor run at the park.  Sunshine pours through the trees, and I absorb the beautiful golden rays.  The jog takes me somewhere, and there is freedom.



Life is good.  At least, life on earth has many good things: family, friends, sunshine, running, cookies, photography, etc.  But while there are many good things on earth, life on earth is like running on a treadmill.  This temporary life is a mediocre substitution for life in heaven.

stars at the grand canyon

Eternal life is better. 

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.

– I Corinthians 2:9

The joys of heaven cannot be compared to the minimal goodness of earth.  Heaven is lit by the glory of God (Revelation 21:23) and is filled with everlasting worship (Revelation 4).  The bejeweled city is free from the curse of sin (Revelation 21-22).  We will have new bodies that never face hunger or death (Revelation 7:16).  Most importantly, we will have pure fellowship with the Father (Revelation 22:3).

All winter long, I run on the treadmill, preparing for the day that will be warm enough, bright enough, and dry enough for an outdoor run.

Likewise, we must redeem our time on earth and prepare for eternity in the presence of God.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

– Ephesians 5:15-16


Simple Joy Saturday #9

Simple Joy Saturday #9

Every Saturday I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week.  These posts may grow or evolve as time passes.  Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!

1. The Rail Trail  

Next time you want to run in Trumbull, CT, go to Pequonnock River Valley.

2. New jars of Blind Spot Nutbutter

I think this has been a simple joy before, but I always get excited when I get to try new flavors from my favorite nut butter company. Any suggestions for what I should do with the Thai Peanut Sauce?

3. The new Pine Cove Camps Instagram series.

I admit it, I am just using this post to brag that my idea made it somewhere beyond my brain.

I Already Broke My New Years Resolution

I Already Broke My New Years Resolution


I thought that it was a good, attainable resolution.  The plan was to run a 10k on April 22, the day after I finish student teaching.  Ten kilometers is less than 6.5 miles, so it really isn’t that hard of a run, and I have nearly four months to prepare.  I printed off a mild training guide (3 days of running, 2 days of cross-training, and 2 days of rest every week), and I filled out the application for the race.


The first week went really well.  I did every single workout, getting decent times on my runs.  I hit a set-back at the beginning of week two when the world was covered in snow, but I was still determined to keep at it.

Then yesterday came, Friday of week two, and I did NOT want to go to the gym.  I did not want to run on a treadmill.  I wanted to skip my workout.

So I started to analyze why:

  • I was tired.  However, most people are tired, so I didn’t count that as a valid excuse.
  • I felt rushed.   Every day after student teaching, I had to rush to the gym, change quickly, and run as fast as I could so that I could make it to supper on time.
  • I didn’t enjoy the runs.  In fact, I would run on the treadmill overlooking the pool and think about how much I would rather be swimming.
  • I missed my old workouts.  I missed swimming, Pop Pilates, Zumba, and slow jogs through Old Salem.

I gave in.  I didn’t go to the gym.  I didn’t run.  Instead, I went to my dorm room and wrote lesson plans.

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I didn’t completely throw yesterday’s workout to the wolves.  Later last night, I did  PIIT while watching Chopped, and it was great.  It was relaxing, fun, and everything that a workout should be.  I even went to the gym this morning…to swim, and it was everything that I missed.

Yes, I broke my New Year’s Resolution, but I am glad that I did.

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…in an ironic turn of events, a blog hat I frequent just posted, “92% of people fail to maintain their fitness resolutions be the end of the year.”  At least I am in good company 🙂

Image result for new year resolution ecard

30 before 30: Color Run

30 before 30: Color Run


When I began compiling my 30 before 30 list back in the fall, the Color Run was one of the first activities I added.  I love to run, and I love bright colors, so why not enjoy the two together?  Last month, my brother invited me to join his Color Run team, and I jumped at the chance was initially excited…until I saw the entrance fee.  Ultimately, though, I could not pass up the opportunity to begin whittling down my goals the day after my birthday.  So, I bit the bullet, pulled out my debit card (telling myself that it would count as a self-given birthday present), and prepared for race day.


With the wintry weather and my work hours, I was not able to “train” for the run.  Thankfully, the Color Run is completely casual–no time clocks, no winner, no prizes.


Seven thousand people (and a few animals) participated in the Color Run today.  I ran with the second group and finished before the last group even had a chance to start.


This was truly the happiest 3.1 miles I had ever run.  With each spray of color, I grinned bigger (which led to a few mouthfuls of colored corn starch).


Although I will probably be wiping yellow dust out of my left ear until 2016, I have no regrets!

Shine on!


Trail Mix Muffins

Trail Mix Muffins


What do you do while something is in the oven?  Do you read? Blog? Dance? Clean the kitchen? Watch television?

The day that I made these trail mix muffins, I went for a one-mile run as soon as I put the muffins in the oven.  I set the timer for 25 minutes and took off, knowing that (1) my mom would be in the kitchen just in case something happened, and (2) I would be back from the run in less than ten minutes.

My muffins burned.  When I calculated baking time, I failed to take into consideration the size of the muffins and fact that I was using a metal pan.  The good news is that they still tasted great…they just look a little, um, dark.  As I sat to write this post, I chose to only photograph the prettiest of the muffins, and I adjusted the baking time in the directions.

But really, try them! They are great!

Trail Mix Muffins


  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup mix of nuts and dried fruits (I used a mix of almonds, peanuts, cashews, and raisins)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mash the banana and mix in milk and vanilla.
  • Add oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.  Mix well.
  • Stir in nuts and fruit.
  • Spray a 6-count muffin pan with nonstick spray.
  • Evenly distribute the batter between all six cups.
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until light brown (it may be in your best interest to not go for a run at this time 🙂 ).
  • Let cool before removing from the pan (they will crumble in to granola if you don’t let them cool!)
  • Eat and enjoy!


Thrifty Thursday

Thrifty Thursday


I didn’t have to be at work until after 9 o’clock this morning, so I decided to take advantage of the extra time with an early morning run to Goodwill.  Personally, weekday mornings are the best time to hit thrift shops.  This is when you find fresh items, and you do not have to fight the crowds.

Today was a high-scoring day (I probably could have blown my whole paycheck, but I have decent self-control).  The racks were full of awesome shoes, and there were a plethora in my size.  Don’t worry; I reined myself in.  I only bought 2 pairs–lightly used running shoes (my old New Balances are pretty beat) and a pair of Charlotte Russe peep toe pumps.  The grand total? $8!!

The real steal of the day was left on the rack, however.  Right there, amidst the 1990s chunky sneakers and beat up flip-flops, was a pair of Coach sneakers.  I almost fainted.  They fit! They matched the outfit I wore today!  They were only $7!  I was in heaven…until I further inspected them.  They were pretty beat-up.  The soles were raw, and the stitching was frayed.  I put them back, reluctantly.  I don’t know which is the greater crime:  the fact that Coach shoes were only $7 or the fact that I didn’t buy them.