Lassen Peak Hike

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Since I moved here in April, I have wanted to hike Lassen Peak. Right now the peak hike is only open certain weekends because they are doing construction on the path. My friend Sam and I decided we were going to hike the peak the weekend in October that it was open.

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Suddenly the weekend was upon us and we were finally able to hike the peak! We arrived around 10am so we would have time to hike the whole thing slowly and hangout after. The hike to the peak is only about 2.5 miles long and it goes from 8,000 ft elevation to 10,500 ft elevation. So in 2.5 miles you hike 2,500 ft up. We didn’t realize how steep that would be until we were hiking.

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This hike was a lot harder than we thought it was going to be. The elevation made it really hard on our lungs and the steepness made it really hard on our legs. I love hiking with Sam because we can both complain and be real when we are exhausted and wanting to die.

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Finally we made it to the peak. It was beautiful up there! We could see so far and there was snow at the top. We really enjoyed the hike and the reward of our packed lunches at the top.

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After our beautiful hike, we did a small walk to lake. At the lake we hung our hammocks and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.

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It was such a perfect day! I can’t wait for the next day we can get out and enjoy the Lord’s beauty!

 

 

 

Ragnar Part 4- Last legs and Finish

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IMG_1996When we arrived at the Glider port at the top of Torrey Pines we were met with once again a crazy amount of vans. It was chaos driving in.  Finally we found a place to park and settled in for a little while. I knew I needed to sleep a little so I stretched out in the front seat and closed my eyes. I was finally able to sleep about an hour off and on. After I got up I realized that I might be sick because of dehydration and started drinking a lot of water and Nuun. After a few bottles I was starting to feel a little better. We walked around the glider port and waited for our other van. Finally they said they were on our way. We were so excited for our final legs. We were also pretty jealous of all the people walking around already finished with their final legs. Being van 2 is hard because van 1 is finished and so excited and we were just starting on a few more hours of running.

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After a lot of pictures and silliness, Helen was finally running in. There we so many people there and we all cheered her in and cheered Amy off on her final leg. Once Amy was running we got in our van and headed for the next exchange. We stopped to get gas along the way. While we were at the gas station, my mom and I ran across the street to a liquor store to pick up some beer for Amy as she finished her leg. She loves beer and kept talking about running for beer so we knew we had to get her some. We stopped at one point in her run to check and see if she needed anything as well. The place we stopped was a blind turn and we directed a lot of people to turn there as the sign was hard to see. We were worried that someone was going to miss the turn. As she finished her leg and handed the bracelet to my mom, she was so excited to be finished with her final leg. We surprised her with her beer and headed to the next exchange.

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At the next exchange my mom handed off to Kathy and I started to get nervous for my last run. My last run was 7.5 miles. Thankfully I was starting to feel better and was looking forward to getting my run over with. I also knew that my run was supposed to beautiful around Mission Bay. Finally we reached my exchanged at Mission Bay and I prepared to take the slap bracelet from Kathy. When she finally came in I took the bracelet and ran off. I only ran a few feet before I got stopped at a  stop light still in the exchange. Finally I was able to run and hit the Mission Bay board walk. It was a beautiful area, even though it was very crowded. I enjoyed watching the people and making myself keep running. Thankfully I wore my garmin this time so I knew my distances.

 

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KathyKathy Ready to go

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At mile 2 my van met me with water and pictures. It was nice to finally be cheered on during a run. At mile 3 I turned a corner and was met with 31 stairs up. I thought I was going to die as I ran those stairs. I kept running and running and running. At one point there was a group of people standing on the side of the road cheering for all of the runner and holding beer yelling “this is what you’re running for.” It was a fun run but I was getting really hot and tired. My legs were starting to feel terrible. I knew if I stopped to walk for a little I wouldn’t be able to start running again. Finally after what seemed forever, I saw the one mile to go sign. After that I was hit with a lot of wind and smoke from camp fires. It made for a really long last mile. Finally I saw the exchange and all I could think of was jumping in the water. As I handed off the bracelet I took my shoes off and put my feet in the water. Such a good choice!

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IMG_2015My moment of joy after finishing!!

We had planned to meet Casey at about 3 miles and Tina would take over for her there. Casey’s feet were really blistered and she was hurting. After that 3 mile mark there were some big hills on her leg. As we waited for Casey I changed, foam rolled, and stretched. I was feeling really stiff and sore but was so happy to finally be done with my legs.

As Tina took over we cheered for her and went to the hills to cheer for her there. She gave us the Finger as we drove by. These hills really were killer. Next we met Tina at the exchange to see how she was doing. Tina is so funny. She came into the exchange yelling, “what do I do, where do I go.” We just looked at her and laughed. She decided she was feeling good and kept running. We then started heading to the finish line. After getting a little  bit turned around in downtown San Diego we finally made it to the convention center and the finish line. We were so excited to realize we were finally finished with our legs! We waited and waited and waited for Tina to come. It seemed like her leg was taking forever and we were worried that maybe she got lost.

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Tina running into the exchange through our toilet paper finish line

Finally we saw her as my mom and Kathy ran in with her. Once she was in the last hundred feet or so the rest of us met up with them and ran over the finish line together! We were all so excited to be finished and receive our medals. We took pictures and signed the Ragnar wall.

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0245_ML1_0369Our team at the finish!

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Van 1 had bought us all cupcakes so we celebrated together by eating cupcakes. After our cupcakes we headed back to the van and to find some food. We originally had planned to go to this Pizza place but it was too crowded (it was a Saturday night). Instead we decided to keep driving. I was driving and everyone else was sleeping in the back. I decided we should just stop at Chipotle closer to Shannon’s house.

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We ate our Chipotle and headed to Shannon’s house to unload and drive home. Finally by time I was home all I wanted was a nice warm shower and to go to bed!

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I loved the entire Ragnar experience! I was really proud of myself for running all of my legs without stopping and felt like I really accomplished something great! I am definitely look for my next Ragnar and may just be training for a half marathon in the near future.

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Ragnar Relay Part 1-Prep

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Well there is so much to say about our Ragnar Relay experience. I can’t believe Ragnar is over. I am definitely going through withdrawals! It was one of the best experiences of my life and I am so happy I got to do it with my family!

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I am going to break up Ragnar into a few posts otherwise you would probably get bored before finishing the first scroll

As you know we have been training for months for Ragnar Relay. My mom and I were on Team Tough Chik. We couldn’t decide whether we were more excited to run Ragnar or meet the other chiks? Either way as the day approached we got more and more excited! We had created a face book group that was essential to our team. With people living all over the place and most of us never meeting before, Facebook was our main communication. Through facebook we were able to plan costumes, make sure only one person per van was bringing big items, and discuss logistics.

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I felt like my running training was going well. I would have liked to get a few more back to back long runs in but, I was feeling good on the running side of things. Our Mojave trip was great training for long hours in a car, getting dirty, and going to the bathroom where ever you can. We felt pretty well prepared. Well as prepared as you can be for first timer.

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A few weeks before the race mom and I went to Target and stocked up on essentials for both vans: baby wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer, hair ties, dryer sheets, trash bags, fabreeze, paper towels, sunscreen, tampons and whatever else we could find. We ordered cowbells and party supplies online, gathered reflective gear, and found anything else that could possibly help us through the race.

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Part of our Target Shopping trip

A few weeks before the race Shannon and I went to the team captains meeting in San Diego. This meeting was great to familiarize us with rules and course changes.

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The week of I made some stencils so we could draw our “chik” logo on the vans, and made binders for the vans. In the binders would go our “race bible” (all the rules and information about Ragnar), our cell phone list, and emergency contact information, legs maps, and our end of race shower information (more about that later). I made a few other decorations that would be able to go on the vans as well.

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A few days before, I started packing my bag. I learned from a lot of different blogs how to pack for a Ragnar event. Most people said to pack each outfit in a separate Ziplock and make sure all your night gear is together. That is exactly what I did. I had a bag for leg 1, 2, and 3. I had a bag for my night gear (headlight, taillight, vest), a bag for my after clothes, and I made a bag for just in case. My “just in case” bag had an extra pair of pants, extra socks, my number belt, and a pair of gloves. My number belt was in this bag because my mom and I were using magnets to hold our number on.

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I also packed a second pair of shoes. I wasn’t sure I should bring them but was really glad I was able to change them out when my toe started to get a blister. The hardest part of packing was deciding what bag to bring. I didn’t want something too big and take up room in the van or too small that I couldn’t fit everything. The other essentials that I packed were things to sleep with. I packed my hammock (sadly didn’t get to use), a sleeping bag, small blanket, and my travel pillow.

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Thursday night before the race our team all met up at Shannon’s house to decorate the vans and eat dinner. It was so much fun decorating and meeting everyone. We had a great group of girls and were excited for the following days.

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IMG_1892Our team All ready for tomorrow!!

Julie, my mom, and I drove one van home as we were planning to meet everyone at the start line the next morning. There was no reason for us to drive from Huntington Beach to Lake Forest and back to Huntington Beach for the start. On the way home we lost almost all of our fringe, and the magnets. We learned very quickly which decorations would not work on the freeway.

A Couple of Tips for packing:
-include a dryer sheet in each bag (cuts down on dampness and stink)
-night gear: spend money on a running vest
I bought a light that attached to the end of my visor it was so much better than a band around my head
-test out your clothes and night gear before the day of

Thing I should have packed:
-a warm comfy sweatshirt (my running jacket wasn’t enough)
-my sweats (my running pants just weren’t warm enough for sleeping on the beach

0152_ML1_0224we were so cold we wrapped our blankets around us. We did get a few great complements on our fashionable outfits! 🙂

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My Packing List:

Running Gear

3 sports bras

3 bottoms

3 running tops

3 running socks

Visor

Headband

Sunglasses

Jacket for night

Neon vest

Head lamp and blinking tail light

Sweats/ sweatshirt (should have brought)

First aid kit

Pillow

Headphones

Purple Nail Polish

Random:

Ziplocs

Trash bag

Sharpie

Towel

Blanket

Hammock

Paper towels

Cell phone charger

Toiletries:

Toothbrush

Toothpaste

Painkillers

Sunscreen

Baby wipes

Shewee

Hand sanitizer

Hair ties

Shampoo/conditioner

Deodorant

Facewash wipes

Chapstick

Dry Shampoo

Van time:

Rainbows

Regular comfy clothes(after)

Video camera

Phone

Window paint

Compression socks

White board

Dryer sheets

Eye mask and ear plugs

Foam roller

Van Decorations

 

Race Recap- Race on the Base

Last weekend I flew down to Southern California for the Los Alamitos Race on the Base. I was running on a Relay Tri team. Chicks That (my company) also had a booth at the expo. Going into the weekend I had a goal of running the 5k in under 30 minutes. I had trained and felt sure that I would be able to do it.

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I arrived Friday at 12:30 to start setting up with the help of my Aunt Cyndi. We set everything up and then waited for people. I had a great time figuring out decorations before hand and created an Inspiration Wall that people could come by the booth and write their inspiration for others to see. The Inspiration wall was a huge success. Everyone loved getting to “graffiti” the wall and share with others their inspiration for doing what they love and keeping them going. We sold bracelet and custom shirts and had a great time talking with all the people at the event.

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Friday after getting home at around 9:30pm I couldn’t sleep. I was exhausted but it was just one of those nights where you toss and turn and just don’t sleep. Knowing I had to be up at 4am to get back to my booth, I was hoping that eventually I would fall asleep. Finally I fell asleep but only had a few hours before I had to get up. When I got up I was so stiff and was wondering how I was ever going to run a 5k and get my goal time.

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Flat Jessy ready for race day!

The amazing Julie was helping me Saturday with my booth and met me early to get started. When race time came I was so nervous. My feet and legs we sore from standing all day. I hadn’t slept much for the past few days and I was so hot (that California heat is killer). When I got to my booth that morning I realized I had forgot my Garmin and wasn’t going to be able to watch my pace.  Already knowing I wasn’t able to listen to music, I started getting discourage that there was no way I would reach my goal.

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I went over to the prerace meeting and met with my team. I was still determined to get my goal and PR but not sure how I would do it. As I walked with my mom over to the start line I was excited and was trying to warm up as best I could. After the first 100 yards I was so tired and my legs felt like jello. Half way through and I still had no idea how I was really doing and honestly felt like just giving up and walking. The thing that kept me moving was thinking of all the inspiration that people were writing on my wall. I thought of the little girl who wrote, “Be strog like a lion,” and the people that were running for their mom, brother, or grandpa. I thought about the girl who wrote “just keep running.” I knew that I could keep going and just needed to finish. As I rounded the corner to the finish line I knew I was almost done.

4 Before the Race with my other Toughies!

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Inspiration that kept me going!

Thankfully I finished and handed the timing chip to Scott and he rode off for his leg of the relay. I checked my phone and the 5k time said 30:11. I was disappointed that I was 12 seconds off my goal. I still got my PR but I really wanted that sub 30.  Looking back on it I know that I was so tired and my legs were already tired going into the race. I know that I should have been able to do it. With a watch and music I would have crushed those 30 minutes. It gives me motivation to do another 5k and to keep running! I know that I can do it and I am still so proud of that PR!

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Chicks That did great for the weekend! Everyone loved the wall and our products and I am excited to potentially do another expo in the near future! It was fun to just get to talk with everyone and meet other companies! All in all it was a successful weekend and I enjoyed Race on the Base.

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My parents did the full Tri!

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My Grandparents are amazing! They got first in their 5k and were at my booth supporting my all day!

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Family Race! (my uncle, Grandparents, parents and myself) at the Chicks That booth!

More about the rest of my weekend in a later blog! Have you done a Triathlon before? How did you feel?

 

Running in Snow

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If this Southern California Girl can run in the snow and crazy cold temperatures anyone can.

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If you have read some of my previous blogs you already know that I am training for Ragnar SoCal! So that means a lot more consistent running and training lately. Ragnar also means I have been learning to run and train in the snow. I know, so many of my friends and family have already said I am crazy. Honestly, I don’t deny it! This morning when I went out to run and it was 0°F and my teeth were frozen I also believed I was crazy. But when you are training for a race you do what you have to do.

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Currently the ground is completely packed with snow (mostly Ice), the temperatures are usually 0-25°F when I go out, and I run hills (because that is the only place to run). It is crazy but I have actually been enjoying it.

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I don’t enjoy it when I first walk out and am blasted with freezing air. I do enjoy learning how to adapt myself to the cold. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when I almost run a PR (personal record) even though I am running hills and in the ice. I enjoy knowing that I can do it!

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So some tips I have learned about running in “real” winter climates:

Screw shoes: seriously these have been a lifesaver!!! I have been wearing these even just to walk to the mail box. Basically it is sheet metal screws that I drilled into a pair of old running shoes. They grip the ice and snow and I am able to run across ice without even thinking about the possibility of slipping. Without screw shoes I would not be able to run.

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These are my screw shoes 🙂

Layers: It is all about the layers. I have a few different pairs of pant and a few different tops that I trade out based on the temperature. Basically you have to figure out what is right layering for you. Usually for me if it is 35 or above I can wear one layer of regular pants and a long sleeve and jacket and I am fine. If it is 25-30 I wear Capri pants with long pants over and add a vest sometimes a warmer jacket to the top. 20-25 usually call for 2 long pants a compression top and warmer jacket plus the vest. Anything in the teens and single digits is warmer pants and regular pants and all the other tops plus a windbreaker. Each time is a little different based on wind and if the sun is out. Most times I end up feeling hot and partially unzip my jacket.

Cover your ears, nose and mouth: This is something I learned very quickly. You have to keep your ears covered. Some people like to wear beanies, I prefer a headband. I overheat really fast if I have beanie on although when it is in the single digits sometimes I opt for the beanie. For the nose and mouth I have a thin fabric thing I bought a long time ago snowboarding. It has been perfect and I usually only use it for the first ¼ or ½ of my run. This keeps me from breathing the piercing air and from freezing my teeth. Don’t forget the gloves as well.

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Wool Socks: Simple these are a must! My toes froze the first few runs before I had them and I am so thankful for them now!!

Mini hand warmer: this is to put in your pocket to keep your phone warm. If you are like me, then all of your stuff in on your phone (music, strava, miles keeper…). One day I was running and my phone suddenly quit on me. Not the best way to stay motivated. I learned after that to always keep my phone closer to my body and/or use a hand warmer. I made mine out of fabric and rice. I throw it in the microwave for 30 or so seconds and put it in my pocket next to my phone.

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This day wasn’t that  cold so I got away with wearing capri’s!

Well those are all the tips I can think of for right now! The biggest thing is to get out and do it! You never know what you can accomplish until you go do it. For me it is such a mental battle especially that first mile. I think “no way, it’s too cold today I will just do a short loop and go back.” When I force myself to push through and do it, then I feel so accomplished and like I can do anything!

You can do, just layer up and get out there!

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Unmotivated—>Motivated

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There is something about the cold and cloudy weather that is totally unmotivating. Winter always brings the clouds and makes me want to just stay in my PJs and watch movies all day. I want to eat soup and drink tea and never get off the couch or out of bed.

Last week I found myself lacking motivation in everything. I didn’t want to go out and run. I didn’t want to read my bible. I didn’t want to make food or take a shower. I really didn’t want to do anything. Do you find yourself feeling this way?
This week I have decided it’s a new day and a new week and I am going to seek motivation!

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I am going to seek motivation by being thankful. I will thankful that I can read because there are people all over the world that cannot read, people that have never had the opportunity to learn. I will be thankful that I can run. There are people without legs, or with diseases and other problems that make them unable to run or even walk. I will be thankful for food and the ability to buy it and make it; there are people all over the world that would love the opportunity to eat what I can eat. I will be thankful that I have plenty of clothes to wear and that I can get out of bed. There are people that don’t have another change of clothes or a shower to wash in. I am going to do things for those that can’t and think and pray for them while I do it!

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I am going to be motivated by thinking of the future. Sometimes all the motivation you need is thinking of the end result and the future! Will I regret it if I don’t do this today? Will I regret it if I don’t run today? Will I regret it if I don’t do anything today and waste my day? Will I regret it if I don’t read my Bible today? Most of the time the answer is yes I will regret it! I want to be better in the end and therefore I need to start today!

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I will be motivated by knowing that I will feel better after. I always feel better when I get up take a shower and take care of myself. I always feel better after I workout or run. I always feel better after I have eaten healthy instead of crap. I always feel better after I have read in the morning! We know that it will improve our day and we will feel better after. Just remind yourself before and during.

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I will be motivated by being accountable. Sometimes the best motivation is knowing that someone is going to check on you and knows when you are cheating! I love working out with other people or running other because I know that they will expect me to be there and I don’t want to disappoint them (sadly I don’t have these people right now). Find someone that you can be accountable to. Some that will ask you how your run went or what you did today. Have someone to talk to about what you are reading in your Bible. Find someone who you can be accountable to and keep yourself accountable. You can all keep me accountable! BTW I have been doing great on my writing challenge although it hasn’t been that long yet:)

What are you unmotivated to do? What are your tips for motivation?

What ever it is, Get up and get out and do it!!

 

 

Be More Thankful

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Lately I have been thinking and praying a lot about thankfulness. I realized that I am not nearly as thankful as I should be. I very rarely stop and thank the Lord. I rarely even thank the Lord for the day.

I have decided that this year I want to be more thankful! The Lord has done so much for me and I don’t act like it. I take advantage of His love and His sacrifice and don’t even thank Him for the simple things. I don’t want to be just thankful and during Thanksgiving. I don’t want to just pray when I need something or things aren’t going right. I don’t want to just be thankful when great things happen. I want to be thankful every day.

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Why is it so hard to be thankful? There are so many things to be thankful for. My goal this year is to be thankful every day! I want to wake up every morning with thankfulness on my heart. I want to have an attitude of thankfulness in my life! A few months ago I taught a Bible Study on having a good attitude. It was really convicting to me. I realized through studying for it that attitude is a choice. It is our choice how we will act. It is our choice if we are going to have a bad attitude and “hate” life or have a good attitude and be happy with where the Lord has us. One part of having a good attitude is seeing all the things we have and joys in life. Look at all the things you have to be thankful for and then have a bad attitude. I bet it is a lot harder to hate life and be thankful for the simple things.

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So I encourage you to do it as well. Be more thankful. Think of things everyday to be thankful for. Maybe write a list of things that you are thankful for that start with every letter in the alphabet. I have found that makes me more thankful.

When we are more thankful we are able to have a more positive outlook on life and we are able to enjoy life more. What are you thankful for? How can we remember to more thankful?