Casual Fridays

Do any of you remember “Insta Fridays“?  I used to do an Instagram update every Friday on the blog – like a little weekly recap.  I miss that!

Instead, today I’m sharing a few things I’m loving lately, am inspired by, or just get a kick out of!

  • I recently listened to Michael Hyatt’s new podcast called Lead to Win which he hosts with his daughter.  I particularly liked this episode talking about 5 reasons resolutions fail – its made me rethink my list of resolutions, rework them, and rename some of them as “goals” and set a plan in action to achieve them!  There are several podcasts that I’m loving right now – maybe I’ll share them all in a post soon.  Do you have a favorite?

4 to follow

  • I have been doing some deep dives on Instagram after I took a month off over Christmas break.  I am finding more “house-centric” feeds and endless inspiration for our next home.  Here are 4 of my new & old favorites: (clockwise, starting top left) Arrows & Bow, Brepurposed, Chris Loves Julia, and My Simply Simple.  And you can follow me over there, too!  Who are some of your favorites?
  • Pretty much our entire family is NOT musically gifted, but we sure do love music here in the Cheney household!  Dance parties are a pretty regular occurrence.  Sometimes just me alone.  By myself.  In the kitchen.  We have a Samsung Soundbar that gets pretty loud and has great sound, if you’re looking to up your dance party game! new city catechism
  • Our family (and our church) is going through the New City Catechism together.  There’s a kid’s version and an adult version – we’re using the app but I also got the book because I like to have an actual book sometimes to read through.  We’re choosing to do both versions, but aiming to memorize the longer adult version.  There are 52 questions, designed for us to memorize 1 each week.  We’re 3 weeks in to it and successful so far – only 49 weeks to go ;)
  • Our youngest, Silas, is 10.  Obviously old enough to know how to tie his shoes.  But the kid (along with his father) hates to tie & untie his shoes, so he does his best to slip them on without doing either, which tends to break down the shoe a little faster.  My sister introduced us to these awesome elastic shoe laces – they look like regular laces, but are stretchy so make just about any lace-up shoes into slip-ons!

And now let’s celebrate because its the WEEKEND!!!  Sean has been traveling all week and this mama is ready for some time with her favorite man.  We’ve got a teenage girl sleepover planned, a little parent training seminar to attend, a birthday party, and a wine & cheesecake party (woohoo!).  I also have several started projects that I need to finish – did you know I am famous for starting projects and not finishing them? One of my goals is to be a better finisher – ha!

Have a great weekend friends!  What are your plans?

my morning walks

Screen Shot 2017-01-10 at 1.43.31 PM i have become a grandma.  ok, not literally, but you’ll see what i mean, and i’m sure you’ll agree with me…

i go on a walk by myself every morning, listen to the news, and drink my coffee.  just like my parents, who go on a walk together nearly every single morning (its quite adorable).  am i forcing myself to get old?!


{adorable leggings from gray monroe}

here’s the deal: i have been neglecting myself for a long time, in terms of exercise.  years back, i kind of got into running, and even ran a half marathon.  then proceeded to (basically) never run again.  i had a goal, met it, then realized i really never enjoyed running.  you know that high that runners talk about?  i’ve felt it exactly two times.  i would try running again off and on throughout the years, but never stuck with it because i disliked it so much.  but for me, it is the most logical form of exercise – i can do it from my house, i don’t need any special equipment, and its essentially free.  my other road block to exercise has been childcare, but now that my kids are a little older (13, 11, and 9), i can leave them for shorter periods of time to get out for some exercise.

but walking works for me. i’ve stuck to a consistent exercise routine for over 6 months now.  my biggest challenge was changing my sleeping habits.  to be consistent, i really didn’t want to leave my kids alone every day midday, so i get up before them, and try to be back before they are up.  now if you have babies, this may not be possible, but eventually your time will come.  i really never thought it would, but look!  here it is!  my time has come!  so i try to go to bed each night by 10, which is a huge change from the days when i ran my shop, and i’d stay up way past midnight most nights.  i get up around 5:45, start the coffee, do my devotional (new morning mercies by paul david tripp), get dressed and am out the door close to 6.


the details:

when i go: early morning, 6ish.  i have recently lengthened my walks, so i try to get out of the house by 6 so i can be back before the kids get up.  thankfully, my kids are rarely up before 7 these days.  i walk at least 6 days a week. sometimes i go later if i’m able – i hate walking in the dark!

what i wear:  weather depending.  on colder days, sweats, long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt and sometimes a jacket.  an earwarmer/headband or a beanie with a ponytail hole.  gloves.

what i bring: headlamp (in the winter), coffee, phone, earbuds

what i listen to: the world & everything in it (podcast), happy hour with jamie ivey (podcast), reclaiming conversation (book – long but so good)

apps i use: weather (to check the temp before i get dressed), podcasts, strava (to track my time and distance)

why i do it: mental health, time alone, exercise, the sunrises

to elaborate a bit more on “why i do it”, a big part of it really is for my mental health.  i really like time alone.  really.  i don’t like it all day long, because i get lonely (which seems quite contradictory), but i need a good dose of time to myself each day.  time for me to just be quiet, or zone out, or pray, and not answer any questions – its huge.  occasionally, i’ll chat on the phone with my BFF while i walk if we won’t get a chance to see each other that week.  if i’m dedicating so much time each day to this time alone, i may as well stack and make it exercise, too.  i can easily just walk for an hour, but i decided to start pushing myself more and really make it count as exercise, too.  using strava really helps me to monitor that because i can see what my pace is and if i need to move along a little faster.  but really, one of the biggest reasons i walk early every morning is for the sunrises.  i am a firm believer that God reveals himself in nature and his glory is undeniable when you see the sunrise.  each day it is so different and filled with colors streaking across the sky or moody with layers of greys.  either way, if you don’t catch it at the right time, you miss it.  and without fail, i wish i wasn’t alone because that glory is something that we all naturally want to share with each other.  i almost always audibly gasp and make myself laugh at what a dork i am.


i did a little research to support my love for walking vs. running.  basically, running is better (darnit) and produces benefits faster, but in the long run (no pun intended) can be harder on your body.  for walking to be a legitimate form of exercise, you really should go for an hour at a 13 minute mile pace.  my pace tends to be more in the 14 minute per mile range, but i am working to speed up a bit.  here’s a great article to give time/speed/calorie burn breakdowns that i found really helpful.  and here’s another interesting article.


here’s some of my favorite gear i use: leggings (with hip pockets), warm gloves, long sleeve top, sweatshirt, beanienike flex experience run 4

so what about you, do you exercise?  what do you like to do?  i have visions of going to yoga or a barre class with my girl friends, but i think we’d be too loud and goofy and get kicked out…