Running the Tetons. 

Day 5 was the culmination of our trip.

Race day!

Waking up to a dark, cold morning (4:00am)  in Jackson to run 13.1 miles in these mountains.
It was hard to get started mentally. I felt overcome with fear. It felt like everything was working against me. Had a moment of defeat the night before, but thanks to awesome friends and the resort hot tub, I moving forward despite the negative thoughts swirling in my mind. The weather was chilly for sure, my muscles felt tight, it was so so early, we felt frazzled. My odds weren’t feeling ideal to finish or finish well.

Once the race started though, it felt pretty good. I had what felt like my groove. Ran with friends, made new friends, and kept moving praying that my muscles would warm and I’d be able to finish this thing in one piece.

Hip update. Hips were so good. Barely any pain until mile 11. I had to walk most of the last two miles…BUT I finished a half marathon! At altitude, with a hip I didn’t think could do it in the time I had. And next to the most beautiful mountain range.

God spoke to me through so many things in the past month, and here I was with tears in my eyes watching these beautiful mountains cheer me on. I couldn’t contain them as I ran towards the finish line! 6 months of healing, or therapy, small amounts of training and I just finished my first half.


I could not have picked anything better. These girls. These mountains.
When I found my friends at the end, hugs and tears…more hugs, were all I had. Happiness is an understatement. Joy. Pure joy.
Praise Jesus for miracles!


Also I ended up with a mild case of altitude sickness post race. I forgot what was happening for a while. (Nervous laugh)

The other side funny story to this day was when Kelly and I skipped a hiking day to go to a Wyoming hot spring…it was a tiny disappointment. Since the water was as warm as the resort hot tub we felt a little let down after driving 2 hours and finding we could have stayed at the resort pool and saved ourselves some driving time. But you live and you learn. We did laugh about it. 🙂



Day 4: Into the Tetons
Friday morning was the calm before the storm in the Tetons.


We’d get to meet them! Hike into them and find out just what they might have to offer us.


Over the last year I’ve heard over and over not to rush through them. Like the rest of this trip, they did not disappoint us. Vast. Massive. Impressive. Mighty. All of these words have new meaning after this trip. I’m more in love with the mountains than I even knew. They are breathtaking, though some might say it’s the altitude hitting you, but I know otherwise.


Mountains are my love language.


I literally am at loss for words. Just thankful that my eyes have the opportunity to see something this beautiful. In every sense. The sun reflecting off the perfectly transparent water, the jagged mountains covered in snow, the evergreen forests, the grassy plains. The fresh piney air in my lungs. You can’t have a bad view here, every direction I take a photo thinking nope this view is even better than the last and then turn around and think it again.

We grabbed coffee and baked treats in Jackson at the cutest little bakery called Persephone and found our way through the city of Jackson before heading into the national park.
We drove into Grand Teton National Park and oh my. My, oh my. It’s magnificent. Whether it’s the fact that the land is Kansas flat and then all of a sudden 13,000 foot mountains rise up in your path showing you just what that looks like, or maybe something else all together.

My heart sees something about these mountains it understands on another level. It relates to how hard the trek can be, it relates to the beautiful views from the top or maybe just along the way. It understands feeling tired, worn out, achy. It understands that it’s not always easy or great, and sometimes you start scanning every which way checking for bears, snakes, or mountain lions. Hh my. It’s a lot like life. We prepare and we try to make plans but around every corner something new, amazing or scary, presents itself.

At the end of the day, God has blown me away. He is amazing. He got us here on a dream while eating salads. Today we sat on the dam at Jackson Lake knowing in twelve hours we were running that dream. 13.1 miles, with this incredible view. The mountains as our spectators.

Friends…chase after what you love. Make sure to make time and save money for things in your life that take your breath away. It’s so easy to get caught up in the grind. To get stuck in the rut. To rationalize that it’s too much time or money, but I’m here to tell you it’s possible and worth it. Chase it. Pursue those heart eyes. Your dream might not be running through the mountains, or even mountains at all, but chase it. And never forget it’s worth it.


(We hiked Jenny lake, taggart lake, and Bradley lake. We sat at oxbow bend and the dam at Jackson lake.)

Road to the Tetons. 

Day three of our adventure to the Tetons was an eight hour drive to meet their incredible wonder.
The funny thing is I received a text from a friend along the drive who was being silly and said that the journey isn’t about the destination, which is true, but the literal drive to the Tetons has me thinking of the mental journey that’s gotten me here.

I wish I could express to you without being overcome with emotion how God planted this dream in my head through my sister first, and then my friends and family. Almost 9 months ago in a little restaurant downtown Lexington I tried to get a group of girls to entertain this idea of running a half marathon, not in our backyard, but in Wyoming. (PS we aren’t runners.) and here we are driving through Wyoming to actually run it.

Kelly and I made our trek out of Colorado to Wyoming listening to country music and talking about all that life has brought our way in the past few months. Laughing, feeling like we’ve lost our minds to altitude and maybe a little bit to sugar high, we somehow didn’t completely lose it on our 8 hour drive.

Reflecting on the mental preparation for this race is more than difficult for me. It’s not pretty. It doesn’t sound or look inspiring. It’s not clean neat lines. It’s defeat. It’s pain. It’s hopelessness. And tears. Too many tears. Good thing my friends and family are rockstars.



Over a month ago I sat in a physical therapists office feeling like I couldn’t run this race. It didn’t matter how beautiful everything else was. All I could think about was hip pain when I was trying to train.


I wasn’t suppose to run more than 1 or 2 miles and even that was at a walk/run pace. How in the world was I going to finish 13.1 miles in the time alloted? That’s all I could think. It was overwhelming.


BUT there’s also faith. Hope. And the goodness of God that shines through even the worst situations.

I know life could be worse. I know I have it good, but defeat and hopelessness and hurt try to make their way into your life and no one is immune to that or excused from it. Those things will try and try and try again.

Eating BBQ at bubbas and dipping our feet in our hot tub was the part of the start to our welcome to the Tetons, but this trip is going to end with breaking our fears. Breaking mental barriers of what we thought we couldn’t do…and in all that we are coming out of this place better than we went into it.

So thank you for this push. All the people who’ve contributed and supported. Life is meant to be lived to the fullest, even when we don’t feel we have it to give.


When you don’t think it gets any better…

Day two.
I’ve been looking forward to this moment for a long time. Not my whole life, but two years is a good amount of time I’ve been dreaming of this place.

It’s hard to describe the anticipation building when you’ve waited for this moment and you honestly don’t know if it will live up to your bar or if you’ll run into issues. You just don’t know what to expect when it comes to nature. Never can be for certain what you’ll see or encounter. And yet here we are road tripping to Maroon Bells in Aspen, Colorado and Hanging Lake in Glenwood Springs.

Heart eyes are a terrible understatement. Any words I use will be a disservice here. Words can’t fill the shoes of these massive peaks and almost too quiet atmosphere that surrounds them. Massive is a word you don’t understand the definition to until you feel how immense something this phenomenal is.


It demands your awe. You just realize after a few minutes that you’ve been whispering. You stand realizing that God created this beauty and danger and He is so full of mystery it demands worship and awe when you stand at the base of His creation.

Every time we see something I feel like it cannot get better than this…and then I’m put in my place again.


Oh, but it can.

God has seriously just given us blessings since we landed in this beautiful state. It’s a trip for the books and we are only on day two.
Colorado, you are rad. As I fall in love, reflect, trip over my own words, and encounter the incredible idea of breath taking, I’ll leave you with a few photos of this place. The magnitude of what it means to be wind knocked out of me speechless is setting in on me. I’m closing my eyes dreaming of places a human like myself feels only exist in movie sets and fairy tale worlds, and then realizing that this isn’t a dream. My reality is that dream.
Today we went from tropical oasis waterfalls and straight up hikes, to panoramic, Aspen covered mountains and slow snowy hikes my heart is incredibly full. Thank you Jesus for a gift I can’t earn and don’t deserve.


Day one and my heart is already over flowing. How I’ve missed this jagged horizon deeply.
Seeing the snow ice mountain peaks as we landed was literally all the heart eye emojis, happy tears, and a million other emotions.

It’s too hard to describe vast. You just have to experience it.

We are all pretty exhausted, maybe 12 hours all three of us combined, but that doesn’t stop us from making the most of our first day out here.

I can’t tell you though how thankful I am for friends who embraced this crazy proposition. This crazy adventure. Days packed with hiking, driving, and anticipation of what we will find out here.
Tuesday we drove to the Broadmoor at Colorado Springs and then to hike Garden of the Gods. The Broadmoor was prettier than expected and a perfect start to our trip.

It started to rain upon arrival and the troopers I have for friends say yes to taking on the 224 stairs….steep stairs to view all seven falls. Not only that, but also hike to Inspiration Point at the top, in the rain. Facing our fears of heights, we did this together, trying our best not to look down and not to fall down 224 stairs since the stairs were slick with rain.
The second adventure of our day was hiking through Garden of the Gods. I spent too much time with “mountain brain” laughing with two girls as we named our own rock formations instead of just finding the ones  already named.

Thankful. Beyond thankful. We are beyond pumped for what the week ahead holds.


Wildly free. 

This view. I woke up to so many of the sweetest messages from friends and family and I’m so blessed. Blessed to call Kentucky where I am learning to grow deep roots. Blessed because my home is scattered among the hearts of people I love, in different places. Blessed to have a family of friends ,and friends that have become family. Blessed to get to celebrate their best moments and be present in their worst.  
I woke up this morning and the cold was beckoning me outside. Wrapping me in a big blanket and urging me out in my sock feet. Breathing in the cold air was harsh in my lungs and at the same time it reminded me of these mountains. It reminded me that I’m small…but mighty. I’m made of jagged grey, a million lush variations of green and speckled with vibrant gold. These mountains remind me I can do hard things. And when I can’t…that’s ok too, because He can.
Give up your defeated I can’t for the beautiful freedom of He can.
#raisethebar #lovenotes #kylo