Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Why Did the Turtle Cross the Road?

I’m not sure why the turtles down here in Florida are always crossing the road - probably because the grass is greener over there.  Either way these Melbourne resident turtles are crossing roads safely all over town thanks to the careful hands of Andy!  I have witnessed Andy stop in the middle of a run to direct a bit of traffic before carefully picking up a scared turtle - who inevitable hides out in his shell for a short while – and carry it across the road before placing it ever so slightly on a safer route… more than once.

The first time I watched this scene play out, I wondered if the turtle thought he figured out how to fly.  We both laughed and continued our run.  The second time, I didn’t say a word, I just smiled.  Because the scene played out at about mile 17.5 on a particularly difficult 18 mile run.  I had been that poor turtle, trying desperately to head to the side of the street where the grass was greener, our entire run.  And true to his character, Andy picked me up – with quiet encouragement – and got me exactly where I wanted to go – the finish line!

It’s this scene that melts my heart when I think about our marriage especially as we approach the second anniversary of our engagement.  It’s this kind spirit who picks me up that will someday soon pick up another niece or nephew and softly guide their journey.  And if we are so lucky, I know that he will guide our own little ones someday teaching them exactly what it feels like to fly.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pursuing Optimism.

Apparently there is some legal definition out there about pessimism.  It seems to be one of those things that really stood out to Mr. Wendling in law school.  He still reminds me that next to this definition (my simple summarization); “the thought that if things are bad, they will continue to be bad,” my picture should have been tacked to that ridiculously expensive law book.  And said husband makes a good point. I do often think like this; “Awww Thursdays are awful therefore Thursdays shall remain awful until the end of time because they aren’t hump day and they are definitely not Friday!”

But, I’m trying to change my ways because I’d like to get my face next to something way cooler in a law book.  And I’ll let you know what that might be once I figure it out.

So, here I go pursuing optimism...

The Monday after a four day weekend doesn’t suck.  It’s just a reminder of how nice it is to have relaxing days off!

Running a half-marathon is awesome even if you did run it in exactly two hours.  Be thankful that you pushed it that last mile rather than wishing you pushed it even harder to run it in under two hours!  After all, it was a personal best and you did get this sweet medal…

Thanksgiving is glorious.  The food, the wine, the lack of guilt in consuming three days worth of calories in just a few hours.  We kept it pretty low-key this year.  With our sights set on the running we have been doing, we looked up a few recipes in Cooking Light and had great results.

The reflection of me through my husband’s eyes is something to be thankful for even when it isn’t the super skinny, tan, perfect reflection we all wish for.  It's one of those things that continues to make me thankful for the life I lead.  It’s the power of the relationships we surround ourselves with that allows us to be our best selves.
And as I reflect on this last holiday we’ll spend away from our friends and family, I treasure my young marriage and this quiet time we have together.  I am thankful for the days that he points out my pessimism as much as I am thankful for the days that he points to my overbearing need to continue to grow as a personal strength.
On Saturday, we got up to watch NASA launch a ROVER to Mars.  It will take this thing 8 1/2 months to reach its destination.   I can't help but wonder where our lives will take us in that amount of time!

NASA Launches Sophisticated Rover on Journey to Mars.

Monday, November 21, 2011

16 Miles

I am officially at the point in my training where I’m running distances I’ve never run before.  This past weekend was sixteen miles.  Sixteen miles.  Alone.  No Andy a few feet {miles} in front of me.  Just me, my thoughts, a little Lady Antebellum mixed with Cee Lo Green on the iPod and laps around a familiar park.

Sometimes I hesitate to write about running because it seems that all of the metaphors were emphasized long before I picked up a pencil, a pair of running shoes or pounded on a keyboard.  But the beauty of running is that it’s all about the relationship you have with yourself.  When you get past the familiar distances - whether that is one mile or twenty - it’s time to listen to your mind, body and heart on how to fuel yourself and when to take a break.

I am currently struggling with the concept of motivation.  I have long been a self-motivated individual – ever since a teacher could check that pre-determined description on a report card and declare it so.  But at some point {typically around mile 12 in this metaphor} self-motivation isn’t enough.  So, I have been focusing on the outside factors that motivate me and have started compiling a list of what I am running for during each mile of the marathon. 

I think this is a good exercise {how’s that pun?} for me because it makes me realize that I am actually never running alone.  I am always running with someone.  Whether that someone is a friend who I know is running miles away but at the exact same time that I am, a sister who always stops to check in with me and really wants to know how my run went or a particularly concerning issue or relationship close to me.  These are the people and things that motivate me on my runs and in my life. 

But these people are especially inspiring when they "pin" things like this in my honor...
Ok, someone knows me well!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

From Miami to Iowa and Back Again.

It's been a busy few weeks so I'm going to give you the CliffsNotes.

We had a great opportunity to visit my {Aunt} Misty down in Miami Beach at Canyon Ranch Resort so we jumped on it and it was an amazing time full of plenty of max relaxing, good food and laughter!

And because it was a last minute trip, we drove from Miami back to Melbourne just in time for me to catch a flight to Iowa in order to work for a week.  And although I won't miss this pace when I move back to Iowa - work, work, work, visit friends, see family and work, work, work - there is an excitement to it that I enjoy.  And I will miss the early mornings of putting on makeup and chatting with my sister.

But you know it's time to head home after a long month of traveling when you are trying new beers and you send this picture to your husband...

And he replies with this picture...

Ahhh yes, true love is simultaneously {and without a word} choosing the same new beer that your spouse does 1300 miles away.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I had only previously driven through New Orleans until this weekend and I have to admit that my first impression wasn’t great. I didn’t quite “get it.” I’ve heard the quote that you can live in any city but New Orleans is the only city that lives in you and now I understand.

We were honored to be a part of a special day, celebrating close friends in a wonderful city and it all clicked. New Orleans holds history. The buildings weren’t put up yesterday and we weren’t the first friends to hold hands and laugh through them. They, like the friends we celebrated and spent time with, have a story to tell and are linked together by more than stone and stucco. They, like great friendships, have been through things; they’ve had water wash over them and then were rebuilt.

And so celebrate we did. We celebrated a beautiful family. The love they share and the future they’re building. We celebrated friendships – new and old! We celebrated this moment in all of our lives where we've outgrown our past, are appreciating our present and building our futures. We celebrated the likeness of our roads and the differences. We laughed, cried and ate and drank with more than a nod to the soul of the city that brought us together and the couple who danced through the streets with jazz in the air and love in their hearts!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Other Shoe

We spent last weekend in Iowa and it was such a great weekend that my husband delayed his return to Florida.  We enjoyed a day unlike one since our wedding - surrounded by every one of our brothers, sisters, parents, nieces and nephews.  Amongst friends and family – and beautiful weather, gorgeous trees and color all around – the smile on my husband’s face was more genuine and my contentment more obvious.

Oh, Iowa, you really were convincing us to move back, weren't you?
But the air was full of change.  The colors in the trees were a constant reminder that days can’t stay like this forever.  Eventually we have to board a plane back to our home and the joy that we felt can only continue on as memories.  And it’s in these moments that a character flaw reveals itself.  I have a hard time shaking the feeling that says one day soon the other shoe will drop.  That life can't really be this great and that something must certainly be around the corner.

And drop it sometimes does – friends lose jobs, partners, loves and lives that they were certain they were going to lead.  Family moves far away making these days more infrequent.  But I'm learning the secret is that life just wants to remind us that “it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react.”

So, change is on the horizon for the Forsyth / Wendling / Caley clan.  See if you can spot one change that I am welcoming with open arms below.  And if you spot it, FYI she is 16 weeks and still asking to keep it quiet on Facebook!

*I did a heinous job of recording this weekend in photographs so I apologize.  I think I was too drunk on joy!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Why I Run.

We started this weekend’s training run around 7:30 in the morning to beat some of the heat and were welcomed by a relief of the humidity we’ve come to expect. We are lucky enough to live across the street from Wickham Park, a beautiful city park that has a wonderfully flat four mile radius. Our run this weekend consisted of various loops around this park totaling nine miles.

I’ve said for some time that one of my favorite things about running – especially in the mornings – are the friendly faces and waves that come from fellow runners and walkers. But, on this run it dawned on me why. With each wave and smile, I realized that I had no idea where these fitness peers were on their journey. And by that I mean, I didn’t know if they were at mile one, ten or more. And further, I had no idea why they were out there – whether it was to work through a tough life decision, lose weight, become healthier or ultimately to experience the joy of solitude. What I realized is that I respected wherever they were, without judgment, because of our thread of mutual experience.

And, after a long week – one that was full of reaching inside my own heart for the maximum amount of empathy and sympathy to give out to friends – what I had been searching for inside myself came without effort on my run. The way I attempt to live my life, is the way I run with ease.  The glimpse of the "me" I strive to be is what keeps me going back even when it hurts and my shirt is soaking in sweat. 

In other news...
Got to practice what I preach... "no judgement!"

Another successful new recipe.  This one is wonderful the night before a big run!  (Ok, before the run replace the wine with water!)

Sausage, Tomato and Arugula Fettucini (click the link for the recipe)
Andy:  8.4
Amanda:  8.5

We're both traveling for work and fun this week so we'll try to check in.  Until then, CHEERS!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


So, I admit it, I was slightly more inspired in Oregon.  When we left Iowa a year ago, Andy and I were ready to go.  With a U-Haul full of goods, and good friends in tow, we were fully prepared to conquer the West without the expectations of the familiar and more importantly, the responsibilities of law school. 

And so we conquered.  But along the way, we fell in love with an area of the country.  When we left, a few tears were shed and since that day, I think we have been looking back more than we have been looking forward.

So, this week I made a conscious effort to look around and get inspired.  I found purple flowers on an 8 mile run and a little girl in a pink ruffled swimsuit putting her toes in the ocean for the very first time.  And around my house I have been inspired to really make this place our home and fill the walls with all the places we have been so we can begin to see what is ahead – and let’s be honest in Florida that’s not hard because it is flat, flat, flat.

Some inspiration...
A wine barrel cork board filled with many wine memories.
A husband hanging pictures of places we have seen!
A morning ritual of coffee made by a loving husband and one hell of a to-do list found on Pinterest!

And finally, an inspiring recipe worth sharing:
Herb and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast (Follow the link for the recipe.)

Amanda's Rating: 8
Andy's Rating:  7

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Mind Dump.

Our hair is getting lighter and our skin a few shades darker...  we are officially becoming Floridians!

Our house started vibrating on Saturday and as Andy and I looked around, I ran to the computer to see if I could figure out what it was.  Oh, of course, that was just a rocket taking off to the moon. 

Welcome to the space coast!

NASA GRAIL launch ( Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel / September 10, 2011 )
We have a new challenge in front of us these next few months.  We will be running the Disney Marathon in January.  So, we have been training and after a slight breakdown of mind and body last week, I had a good run this week.  A good run, like it started with a rainbow in the sky...

...and ended with Jack Johnson really talking to me.  Talking me to the point of just playing him again and again!

Who's to say
I can't do everything
Well I can try
And as I roll along I begin to find
Things aren't always just what they seem

Finally, what is it about an AWESOME Cyclone win that makes me feel the need for more wine?


Monday, September 5, 2011

The Florida Learning Curve

There's a learning curve when it comes to Florida. 

You have to learn to run in this heat and humidity.

Learn to drink great Pinot Gris instead of Noir because it's way more refreshing.

Learn that you do in fact have to go to work during the week even though you are 30 years the minor to all your neighbors who do not have to go anymore. 

But, we pretended we were of the retired type for three days this week.  And we did well.

Cocoa Village.

So, we're learning.

And I'm doing it in my best Audrey Hepburn beach style!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Feeling Restless.

I’ve been feeling restless.  There’s really no other way to put it.

I’ve hugged my husband no less than one hundred times in a matter of days.  Because he’s here.  And I’m lucky.  And there’s no logic to say why he is here and others aren’t but that’s where we are.  So I’ll stop typing and hug him again. 

It’s not unhappiness, it’s not discontent, it’s more just a feeling of being somewhere in between.  And we’ve all been here – dealing with the emotions of why our lives play out one way and others’ another.

Sometimes it’s a very apparent realization that our life isn’t hard.  I mean by any real sense.  We have days where it’s tough to pay a bill or where the synergy from our wedding must have been left in Iowa.  But, when you see people in every direction around you either passing through a real rough patch, passing by with little recognition of the person they have become or just passing on, perspective takes over. 

But the happiness and contentment in life are real too and sometimes I have to remind myself to enjoy them.  Because the rough patches will return and there will be moments when our actions are unrecognizable but at the end of the day it’s an honor to be here, no matter where we are! 

So, take a minute to smile at a stranger and pay your bit of happiness forward.

And if you need a little help, here are a few things that made me smile this week…

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Making a House a Home.

Our new house.
We have moved twice now to houses that we had only previously viewed online. Andy and I talked recently about the weird feeling that ensues when you get to town, with a key in tow, and start driving to this place that you will make your home.

This time, we bypassed our house to go to the ocean and then back-tracked to see if our new house did, in fact, exist. The walk-through starts with a sprint to the door and an immediate sigh of relief when the key unlocks said door. And it proceeds with a strange feeling. The empty walls and rooms will hold our memories for the next year and yet they look so foreign.

So, we started the week. Me. Andy. Clothes. An air mattress.

Andy making our house a home :)!
And we ended it with all of our belongings in most of their new places. It's starting to feel less like a house and more like a home. Which got me thinking about what it is exactly that makes a house a home. Is it putting your spin on the walls around you and filling them with belongings that remind of where you’ve been? Or is it that you gradually make memories – laugh for the first time in new walls and – let’s be honest – cry for the first time as well.

My Office.

My "other" office!
But if home is where we laugh and cry than I have many homes.  So, I think home is where we lay our heads each night and has more to do with the people that help us to feel comfortable in our skin than the things that surround us. 

Dining Room.  Sometime, ask us the story about Imperial IPA and furniture shopping.

This guy {and his friends} are a gift with purchase at our new place!
Our backyard :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Getting to Where You’re Going.

The open road!
Andy and I are as different as we are alike in almost all areas of our life. The title of this blog is only one example of that. I sit at my computer all day and earn a living through the creative execution of ideas and he works through process issues for a large organization with a unique combination of engineer and legal strategy. 
Goodbye Oregon Coast!

My clothes are usually strewn across a hotel room in chaos while Andy’s military training is always at its best in the form of perfectly packed luggage and efficiently rolled clothing. But, as I said, we are as alike as we are different.

Someone wise once said; same information, same values, same conclusion. And so we hit the road with the same information; 3800 miles to travel. The same values; enjoy the journey while getting to the destination. And eventually we got to the same conclusion; Melbourne, Fl. But, friends, this trip was not without pause.

California outside of Yosemite.

Andy in Yosemite

We paused for a trip to urgent care after Andy discovered an infection on his hand from fishing. We paused while traveling through a scary route in Nevada {picture a scene from a horror movie!}. We paused for a dented drive shaft and cracked housing unit between the transfer case and transmission. {And I paused while paying for that incident!} Just to name a few…

See that faint road in the middle of the picture?  Yeah, we traveled that twice.  Now picture it in the dark!

Zion National Park.

Lake Powell, UT
But something happens between where you are and where you are going. For us that something was “truck dance parties” and a simple realization that it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react. From the smallest bumps in the road to the largest twists and turns, we all have the power to control how we ebb and flow with what life hands us. And though our issues weren’t life-shattering, they reminded us how blessed we are to be on this road together {with all each others' good and bad} and we were thankful to take the time to fully experience it.

A broken truck in Flagstaff, AZ.

Santa Fe, NM
And so our differences served us well in all of our situations but so did our likeness. And today while sitting in our new home we value the champagne we brought from Oregon and the toast to where we have been and all the places we are going.

Cheers to a long and windy road!
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