Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Settling In

Well...after a looooong trip with my parents and Ashley's dad, we finally made it to Wisconsin. We left Friday morning for Margaretville, NY to visit my grandparents there and spend a night. Then after a great evening with them, we left early the next morning for Elgin, Illinois. It was a pretty easy trip, except for gas and tolls were a pain. Then driving through Chicago traffic, bumper-to-bumper, was stressful. But we made it safely to the hotel. The next morning we left Illinois to make it to church in Baraboo that Sunday.

With alot of help from my parents, we've got the apartment set up and unpacked. I have to say how thankful I am that we were provided this home for the internship. It's a very nice place, cozy, and just a few blocks away from my favorite coffee shop :). And a big thanks to the guys that repainted the walls, I love the colors.

We've spent alot of today and yesterday exploring the area with my parents and walking around town. I love the area so much. It's hard to explain it unless you see it. But once you do, you can't help love it too. I think this next year here will be amazing :). I'm also excited to get back to a somewhat normal schedule, and get back to work. After so much time off you start to go crazy. Especially this past month I have felt kinda like a gypsy, spending much of our [Maine] home time packing up and living off of as little as possible, then spending a weekend on the road with all our belongings. It's nice to be settled down and to relax and feel like you're at home.

So you will definitely see more posts from us later after we get some more stuff together. I'm sorry I haven't really been taking pictures (I don't know whats wrong with me) but I stole some from my father and my husband and a couple I took to atleast give you something to look at. (Also sorry, they are mobile pictures lol).

Al Ringling Theater

Downtown Baraboo

Gary, Indiana

Cleveland, OH

Al Ringling Theater in Baraboo

Chicago, Illinois

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Back to Blogging

Sometimes I forget I have a blog, and then those times I do remember I am always too lazy to type out a full explanation of why I haven't been blogging and what I have been up to since I was gone.

So, to get you back up to date.. Let me first tell you this: We have decided to take the internship! We will be moving out October 26th to Wisconsin to spend time there in ministry for a year. We're very excited (not so much for the drive) and so thankful we were granted this opportunity. So now we have a little less then a month here in Maine trying to spend time with as many people as we can.

With that said, we have been filling our spare time with various activities and cool stuff. Ash left his stinky, tiring, boring job at the mill and has been helping out with some handy work for other people. It's been nice having him home :) Recently I've gotten more into photography. I was nervous for the longest time to try and go bigger with it, mostly because I didnt feel I was good enough. But after doing a couple more shoots I started to gain confidence. Now I'm booking sessions like crazy and investing in better equipment to keep up. Here's some of my work..

So if you had told me 4 years ago that I would be married, moving to Wisconsin, and starting my photography business, I would have thought you were crazy. God has surely blessed us and done some amazing things in both of our lives. It's been a very interesting time and I'm always looking forward to seeing what happens next :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Where We Go

If you've read my last post then you already know we're taking on a one-year ministry internship in Wisconsin. You can read about it here.

Its hard for me to put into words my thoughts without thoroughly thinking them through so I try to blog about it but I'm terrible at keeping up with it. But with all this new stuff happening I have to share it with someone...

I can't explain how excited I am that we have been presented with this opportunity. There are certain [typical] fears I have concerning this internship, but there is a confidence that far outweighs them all. A peace I can't explain. Wherever God calls, we go. I'm writing this and I havent even gotten on the plane to visit yet. You must think I'm crazy. But I think the reason I'm most excited is to see my husband grow. At first I was excited for the general idea but after thinking about it my appreciation for this opportunity grew quickly and I was eager for what God has in store for him. I love him dearly and to see him exert all his energy and time at a mill building cabinets knowing that you're not doing what God wants has been a burden to bear.

It has been awesome just this week so far to have him home with me (I work part-time now). He smiles a little differently now. I enjoy it so much :)

Thank you for all your prayers and keep it up, please! :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Update from the Szostaks

Where do I begin? I'm terrible at starting these things off...

A lot has been happening in this past year or so. A lot of options and possibilities have been coming our way and has sparked some thinking. After Ash and I got married we've been toying with the idea of moving but wasn't sure where or when. We've been praying about it for almost two years now that God would reveal His plan for us and what we should do, whether it is to stay where we are or rather place us somewhere else. It's not that we desperately want to get away from here. We love our family and friends and our location here (minus the snow), we just feel that God wants us doing something else. We've grown up in this town the majority of our lives. After being here so long you start to become too comfortable and used to the way things are. In a way it drains you.

We've had some very tempting offers and ideas. Some of which are still a possibility. But one of the offers that came up about a year ago was the idea of an internship. A good friend who's very closely involved in the program introduced us to it. It's a one year opportunity in which we will be placed and mentored within a healthy church under good leadership and be taught and given the chance to grow spiritually. This was what we were looking for, but we still had some doubts. For a while we also contemplated the idea of moving to New Hampshire. We have some very close friends there and the same kind of opportunity. We wouldn't be far from home either. So, in a pickle we were.

After some period of time waiting and praying about it, we gained confidence about the internship. New Hampshire will still be there waiting for us, in fact I think it will be a great place to settle down :). With that said, I trust in God. I trust that this is the right decision, and I trust in that peace I have and that same confirmation in Ash. I also pray that God will make a straight path for us, no matter where it takes us.

After a long time of praying and waiting on God, there are two verses that somehow always seems to come hand-in-hand, both which have given us confidence...

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
-Jeremiah 29:11-13

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

-Proverbs 3:5-6

We fly out September 6 to go visit and meet and greet everyone for a while and see the area. It's located in Baraboo, Wisconsin. (I think it's a cool name). We're excited about it and hope for great things. I guess that will be our final deciding point. For now, we are preparing ourselves for whatever decision is made. So please pray for us and God's will to be done and revealed. Thank you guys for your love and concern and support. We will keep everyone up to date as we go along :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

That Time I Almost Ran 3 Miles

I don't have much time but I'll give you a quick little recap...

5/31: 1.02 miles
6/4: 1.03 miles
6/5: 1.58 miles
6/6: 2.76 miles

I'm determined to stop focusing on time and more on distance and endurance. Which is extremely difficult for me because I'm not content being a slow runner knowing that seven years ago I could run a 7:30ish min/mile. So, I am attempting to rack up more mileage than comparing times. For now atleast.

Today, I was determined to complete a 3 mile run. Didn't quite happen. I didnt go far enough down one road (due to a loose dog I didnt want to chase me :P) so I doubled back and fell short 0.24 mile :-/. Technically my app should say 2.76 miles but it crashed at the beginning of my run. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath, but it is slowly getting easier as long as I stay focused and remember deep breaths.

I maintained a good steady pace for the most part. I found the best song to help maintain a rhythm too was "I'm So Excited" by The Pointer Sisters. The beat just matched the tiny thumping of my feet on the hard asphalt too perfectly. My Dad would be so proud of me (he loves The Pointer Sisters) :P hehe

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pushing Through

After not running for almost a week (due to some minor set backs and physical ailments) I decided it was not the smartest idea to give it all and just push through but aye, what the heck? I did it anyway. Yesterday, lady friend (aka my other Ashley) and I went to the track after work and see how we'd do.

We killed it.

By far the best run of the year for me. 1 mile in 8:30-something. Silly me left my phone in the car so I couldnt record it but little did I know she had kept track of time that was counting down on the scoreboard. I walked away that day with a good feeling. Also, we totally advertised Forever 21 athletic wear all too well. We'll get a picture next time.

One downside to yesterdays run- I wasnt ready for it. Didnt stretch well enough and boy does my leg hurt. It never quite healed right when I broke it (seven years ago!) and aches something terrible when I overdue it. But I'm pushing through it :) nbd.

So today, still all pumped up from yesterdays run results and I thought I could do it again. I stretched my leg real well and turned up my 80s Cardio Radio and what better song to start to than Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" :)

And the conclusion is...

1 mile: 9:25  (not the same result but I'll take it)
2 mile-ish: 13:09 (......)

I hate the stretch of road that I usually finish my run with. I absolutely detest it. So what ends up happening is that last second mile I run half and it and walk the rest of the way home. Hence why that 13:09 is up there.

Like I said, not exactly the result I had in mind but with yesterdays run I know Im headed on the right track (hehe). We'll see how I do tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Just Not Good Enough

Part Two: C25K-ish.

I have my good days, then I have my very bad days. Today was a bad day. I hate, and I mean I absolutely loathe running early in the day. My prime is usually around 6pm ish, right after work and I can use up all my leftover energy. Unfortunately, I usually have to close on Wednesday nights so I had to get my run in early. I did the same ole loop I've been doing all week. I need to find a bigger one challenge myself more. I just cant get myself to go around the loop again. Forget that.

Anyway, the other day I ran this with a decent time. I got my 10:00 min/mile and walked the last quarter mile. Today, ooohhh today..... I'm not even gonna tell you my time. Clearly, I run like poop early in the day. I made certain that I wore my good socks, my pretty sneakers, and pumped up my 80s Cardio Radio on Pandora and that I also stretched beforehand lest I get cramps and pulls that slow down my time. Well some help that was. It was like as soon as I took off, instant abdominal pull. It made running not fun. But Blondie's beat did make it more enjoyable :)

I will be back at it again tomorrow AFTER work. We'll see how I do. Despite today's not so good run, I have seen alot of improvements with my endurance and also my breathing. My breathing has gotten ALOT better. So atleast I'm thankful for that! :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Couch to 5K Challenge-ish

I'm a pretty active person and have been but there was this tiny little period of time where I was physically incapable of running and since that time my cardio, endurance, strength has decreased tremendously. And I mean like ALOT. And because of that lack thereof, I was disappointed when I discovered just how much out of shape I was when I went for a run. Breathing does not come easy to me. Noooo way. It also doesnt help that I've had a cold these past two weeks. But already I have seen a big difference just in the disciplined exercising I've done. So I'm making my own, slightly more advanced Couch to 5K challenge (I just say that to make me feel more in shape than a couch sounds).

Today's run was not as bad as I thought. I havent ran since Saturday and that was just a quickie. I started with a quick 5 min warm up/walk. Then tested my endurance with running the rest of the way. I only had to stop twice to catch my breath (not including when I saw my driveway and nearly passed out lol). That was my equivalent to C25K's 2 min walks they want you to do.

Also, I'm pretty sure there's a glitch in the MapMyRun app for iPhone because the time was not the same as my watch and there is a little gap missing as you can see. So is should be four minutes shorter than what it is, I swear :) and I also forgot to stop the time once I was finished (I'm terrible at this). I should just buy Nike's running app.

Anyway, there is Day 1 of my challenge. My goal for right now is a 27-28 minute 5k. After that will be more endurance long distance running. But right now I have my work cut out for me haha.

Monday, May 14, 2012

5K's and Softball

Sorry its been quite a while since my last post (I'm very bad at this), so I thought I'd give you a quick little recap.

Funny story, Ash has been wanting to do a 5K for a while. Just wanted to do it to say he's done it. So he signed up for the Sea Dogs Mother's Day 5K and the Father's Day one. Coincidentally, husband's best friend's wife signed up for the same Mother's Day one. So us spouses and some family all went to support them yesterday. I wanted to go just to see what it was like. I plan to do one soon (when I gain confidence :P ).

Husband finished 725th out of 4,000 with a time of 27:08. Katie finished with a time of 28:41 and ranked 967th. Not bad at all for their first one!

Also, the day before we had softball games and guess who came to happen to join us that weekend? The cutest little boy and of course his parents :) hehe.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Eighty Degrees in March

When it is nearly 80 degrees in March, you kinda can't just pass up an opportunity to be outside. Like I might have mentioned in my last post, I LOVE the outdoors. LOVE being anywhere there is water. Lake or ocean, or even a pond, I'm happy. After work, I thought it would be a nice restful idea to just take a drive and find a sandy area to throw down a blanket and relax with my husband. It was the best idea :) Of course....I forgot my camera, so I was left with only Iphone pictures. But to make up for it, we ended the afternoon with a tasty supper.. ice cream :-D

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Finding Beauty

After four or so months of winter its nice to finally be outside enjoying the warmth. On a day like today, I couldn't pass up the beach. There's something about the ocean that just screams how great our God is. It's one if His many creations that never cease to awe me.

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