Tag Archives: blog

Check It Out – LifeReallyBlog.com

29 Apr

I bought my own blog domain! It is now officially LifeReallyBlog.com. 

But since I’m still using WordPress and it automatically redirects, you don’t *have* to update the URL in your bookmark, RSS manager, or whatever.

You can officially follow me on Bloglovin’ though!

Follow on Bloglovin

I thought I knew a decent amount about html code, blogging and redirects to buy my own domain and set it up, but apparently it is a little more complicated than adding line breaks to posts and inserting pre-made widgets. 😉 I did figure it out eventually with a little help from GoDaddy support and my brother, but man, it doesn’t make me want to ever change my blogging platform.

Anyway, if you’re interested or thinking about doing the same thing, I bought my domain through GoDaddy ($13/year for domain, $8/year for privacy), set up mapping through WordPress ($13/year), and set lifereallyblog.com as my primary domain. I had hoped to avoid the mapping fee through WordPress (since you can forward URLs through GoDaddy for free), but without it, my URL would either show up as specialkkluthe.wordpress.com still, or there would be no post-specific URLs displayed (it would always show lifereallyblog.com no matter what). So I figured, if I’m going to buy my own domain, I might as well do it right. So this little blogging hobby of mine will now cost me $34 a year.

But I feel so official, it’s worth it.

The reason for blogging

12 Feb

I’m back from my baby shower in Minnesota! The weekend was a lot of fun and not without a few incidents that kept us on our toes. But I’ll blog about that later this week. I’ll also do my 32 week pregnancy update once I take a bump pic.

Today, I wanted to share some thoughts that I’ve had for quite a while now. And please understand that I’m not judging anyone. This is meant to inspire discussion, not condemnation.


Blogging is kind of a strange thing when you think about it. I don’t read celebrity gossip magazines because I don’t want to spend more time finding out what’s going on with Lindsay Lohan or Kim Kardashian than living my own life, and yet, by reading blogs, I know what a girl who lives out in California had for dinner last night.

Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing – either for me to know what she ate, or for her to share. Blogs are personal and the author can post about anything they want. If I have a problem with it, I can just stop reading.

But it’s funny how that works. Blogs can get sort of addicting. I find myself wondering how Person X did in their race. I see something at the grocery store that reminds me of Person Y. Or the reverse happens – I’m out on a run and start writing out my blog post in my head. I take pictures of random things “for the blog.” I share more details about my life on this blog than I do with some of my friends (because I’m the only one talking here!).

I think blogging touches on a desire in every human soul. C.S. Lewis said it best (as always): “All enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise. … The world rings with praise — lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game. … I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly, at the turn of the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and find no one to share it with. . . .”

We want to share experiences.

What once went unshared or was only shared with the closest of relatives or friends – the parking ticket you just got, how traffic was on your evening commute, what kind of peanut butter you think is the best, what you did on the weekend – can now be shared with the entire world.

That’s the aspect about blogging that I love the most: being able to connect with other people who share my same interests and experiences. When I was training for my marathon last year, I was inspired by reading running blogs. Since getting pregnant, I’ve added about a dozen pregnancy or motherhood blogs to my Reader list. If no one in your “real life” circle shares your interests or is going through the same thing, someone in blogland does or is!

But just like with any online community, I think there is a line. Do I know more about a girl I will never meet than I do about a girl in my care group? Do I share things on my blog to serve and inspire others, or just to talk about myself?

From time to time, I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that my blog “should be” a certain way or I “should be” a certain kind of blogger.  I should post once a day, document everything with pictures, be on Twitter and Daily Mile and Pinterest and go to blogger retreats. Or I read a certain blog because they read mine, or because I’ve been reading it for months. But the truth is, I don’t want to be more connected than I am now. I should read only those blogs that uplift and inspire me. And I want to be more engaged in living my own life than I am in reading about others’.

I really do benefit from the blogging world and don’t have any foreseeable plans of discontinuing my blog (though that is a question I’ve also wondered – what is the lifespan of a blog?) or of not reading others’ blogs. But I do think I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to accept that I won’t ever be a “conventional” blogger. I can’t post quality thoughts every day. I don’t want to share every detail about my life. I won’t be buying an expensive camera to take pictures of my food in natural lighting.

But I will share my life journey and what I’ve discovered brings joy. I will reveal what God is teaching me. I will point to Jesus as the only way to heaven. I will share my love for endurance sports again someday.

All that said, I hope that my blog is a blessing to all of my readers. And I hope that you are out there, living your own life with gusto.

If you blog, why do you blog? Why do you read others’ blogs? 

11 Things

10 Feb

I was tagged by Candice from Forever is Composed of Nows for the blog-tagging extravaganza of the year. So here goes:


1. Post these rules.

2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.

3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.

4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.

5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.

6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people.

11 random things about myself:

  1. I ice skated for two years and got to skip the “Snowplow” levels because I had awesome skills good balance.
  2. I am horrible at remembering what year or age things happened in my life. The ice skating? Maybe 5th and 6th grade?
  3. I once ate an entire Chipotle burrito and a banana split from DQ in one sitting.
  4. My favorite thing to get at DQ is a Blue Raspberry Mister Misty Float.
  5. I ended up with a bloody foot on my first date with my now-husband (from a rogue flipflop).
  6. I laugh every time they say “Rogue Robots” on Wall-E.
  7. My favorite movie genre is animated.
  8. I refuse to join Pinterest, Daily Mile and Twitter. It’s the principle of the matter.
  9. I refused to join Facebook for 5 years and then caved in 2009. ;(
  10. I still secretly want the outfit matcher Alicia Silverstone had in Clueless.
11. I hated sushi the first several times I ate it, but now I love it.

11 Questions from Forever is Composed of Nows:

1. What is your biggest and/or hardest goal for 2012? Finishing my book? Running a marathon? Getting pregnant? Time will tell…

2. Vegetarian or Meat-eater? Meat-eater but I don’t really like meat and could give it up in a heartbeat. But my hubby’s a hunter and we have a freezer full of meat.

3. Would you rather write something down with pen/paper or on a computer/cell phone, etc? Depends on what I’m writing. I journal and make to-do lists on actual paper, but when I’m actually writing thoughts and need to edit/revise/delete, I will always choose a computer. I hate typing on my phone.

4. Dog or cat person? Dog but I love animals.

5. What is your favorite season and why? Fall – nothing beats a brisk fall day with leaves changing color.

6. If you could live anywhere other than the place you currently live, where would you live?  Minnesota.

7. Do you prefer Facebook over Twitter or vis versa? I don’t have Twitter and only go on Facebook once a week, maybe. So neither?

8. What is the longest run/race/workout you have ever done? 14 mile run, 30 mile bike run (not on the same day)

9. If you could only read one book over and over, which one would it be? The Bible

10. What is the biggest risk you have ever taken? Moving to Denver without a job

11. What motivated you to start blogging? Wanting to get better at writing.

I tag the following: Winners Wear Yellow, Chic Runner, Diary of a Slow Runner, The Runner’s Plate, She Collects, B. in the Know, Butler: Party of 2, True Things, Cow Spots and Tales, Enjoying the Journey, run.around.aroo

My 11 questions:

  1. What do you think is the most annoying blog trend?
  2. What is one thing you wish you liked, but just don’t?
  3. How long were you friends with your best childhood friend?
  4. How many blogs do you read on a consistent basis?
  5. What’s your favorite fro-yo topping?
  6. Did you go to college? If so, where and why that school?
  7. What’s your all-time favorite TV show?
  8. Did you have an invisible friend growing up?
  9. Is there any social media that you refuse to adopt?
  10. What is one thing you see other people doing that makes you say, “You couldn’t pay me enough”?
  11. What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?

Remember to tag 11 more people to keep the blog chain going!

4-Year Blogiversary!

15 Jan

On January 15th, 2008, I published my first post ever to the blogosphere:

I love writing. But I hardly ever do it–something that really needs to change. So this blog is my answer.

It’s not that I don’t want to write, it’s that I don’t make the time. I find myself distracted by other things I enjoy doing: reading, exercising, cooking. In college, I majored in Journalism and Spanish–two majors that center on writing. Almost all I did for 4 years was write and I would gladly do that for a career if ever the opportunity presented itself.

I have heard, though, that to be a good writer you have to be a consistent reader–at least I have that going for me. I just started The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan last night. It’s different than I expected it to be. It seems like a lot of the snippets I’ve heard from other people about the book have occurred in the first 2 chapters. Makes me interested to see what the other chapters have in store.

For more information about me, check out the links to the right. Until next time…

Pretty exciting stuff, huh? (ha, not!)

Since I just talked about why I blog in my 400th blog post, I will keep this short and sweet.

In honor of my lovely readers, without whom blogging just wouldn’t be the same, I’m offering one lucky winner a $25 gift card to the restaurant or store of their choice. 

To enter the giveaway, please answer this question in your comment (don’t just say that you want the gift card, because that goes without saying!):

If you could compete in one Olympic event (and be good at it), which one would you choose and why?

I would choose figure skating. I got to skate a few years growing up and loved it. Although the marathon trials were very inspiring, it also looked like a crapton of work and pain.

Not too surprisingly, my husband would choose hockey so that he could, in his words, “kick some Canadian @$$!”

The giveaway will close Wednesday night and I will announce the winner Thursday morning.

Thanks for reading! I love hearing from you.

400th Blog Post Giveaway

7 Nov

Here I am at Blog Post #400.

My first blog post ever was on January 15, 2008. I started this blog as a way of being intentional about my writing passion – because as many will say, to become a better writer, you have to write. You have to develop the habit of writing, just like with anything else – very similar to running. Any advancement in running, whether distance or speed, requires that you actually get out there and run. You can’t just think about running. Or think about how great a runner you would be if you had time to run. Or watch runners outside, longing to be able to do what they do. Runners run. Writers write.

My blog has come a long way from what it once was. In the beginning, I never posted pictures. I never expected reader participation. I wrote for myself and didn’t care if anyone else read my blog. Now, I view my blog – and other people’s blogs – as places to connect, to share thoughts, opinions and laughter. The popularity of the blogging community is growing and I really enjoy being a part of it. My husband still thinks it’s weird that I know so much about people I may never met in real life but I think it’s weird that he enjoys hunting so much. I mean, killing an elk for the meat is understandable (I have to admit it’s delicious). Killing an elk and two antelope is a little overkill. Killing an elk, two antelope and two deer in the same year is just plain ludicrous. (Oh yes, he did.) Not even a straight-up carnivore needs that much meat. 

Anyone want to come over for dinner? And take a cooler of meat home with them?

Anyway, in honor of my 400th post, I am doing my first-ever giveaway! (I’m a little late coming to the game but hey, better late than never, eh?)

A lululemon tote bag, 2 Luna bars, 3 Hammer gels (raspberry), 2 Hammer electrolyte tablets, a Brooks bandanna, and a pair of RedStar WorldWear polarized sunglasses.


To show you how rad they are, here’s me modeling the sunglasses:

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post and let me know if there is anything you’d like to see more of (or less of!) here on my blog.

I will randomly select a winner on Friday, 11/11/11.

Thanks readers for making being a blogger so enjoyable and rewarding!

A New Blog Name

23 Aug

Because it’s been a while since I lasted changed my blog name, I decided to change it again.

Just kidding.

But seriously, I did change it again.

Here’s why:

I decided on the name Joy in Being Broken back when I was really questioning my life, my relationship with God, and learning some hard lessons. 99% of my blog posts were about what I was learning and struggling through – I used this blog like a public journal, a space to put my thoughts into order.

While I’m still (obviously) a broken person in need of a Savior, I expanded the scope of my blog when I decided to stop maintaining my old triathlon blog and I just didn’t feel like the old blog name was the right fit anymore.

I have been trying to come up with a new name for the past couple of months. A few ideas I had:

From the Inside Out

My Whole Self

Healthy Inside and Out

Girl + God

But none of them screamed “This is it!” Until I had an epiphany today with this current name: Life, Really.

This name resonated with me for 2 reasons:

1) Like I mentioned last week, I am committed to being an authentic blogger. I don’t sugarcoat things, I don’t hide things and I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not. This blog is about my life as it really is.

2) Jesus said in John 10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” I didn’t know what life was really about until I knew Jesus. So my spiritual posts also reveal what life is, really.

As for the tagline, I chose:

  • “Authentic” for Reason #1 above.
  • “Journey” because, like I mentioned in my last new blog name post, life is a journey: “You grow, you shrink, you step forward, you step backward, you succeed, you fail. But through it all, those who have Christ, have ‘a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain [into the presence of the Father], where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf…’ (Hebrews 6:19-20).”
  • “Faith” because Christ the center of my life and my reason for living.
  • “Fitness” because I love being active and blogging about my athletic feats. 🙂
  • “Fun” because I believe God wants us to enjoy our time here on earth with our family and friends

“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

What do you think about my new blog name?

A Blogger’s Manifesto

16 Aug

This morning, as I was contemplating writing a post about why I love blogging and what I strive to be as a blogger, I stumbled across the Blogger’s Manifesto website. They read my mind! So of course, I had to sign their honor roll and grab a badge for my site. If you’re in Reader, check it out.

The tenet of the Blogger’s Manifesto that I agree with the most is:

Be Authentic.

This has been the driving force behind my blog since Day One (which happened to be January 15, 2008). Do I understand that my religious beliefs might not appeal to (and may even repel) those who happen upon my blog for triathlon-related information? Yes. Do I realize that my crazy exercise habits might inspire some yawns or cringes from those who had been reading for my spiritual insights? Yep. Do I believe that there are other people out there, just like me, who are dedicated to both faith AND fitness? Definitely!

Instead of catering to the masses in an attempt to garner a bigger following (and believe me, this is definitely tempting!), I have resolved to remain true to myself and my beliefs by being honest and by sharing the truths about the gospel that not everyone wants to hear. I believe God is more honored by my not wavering from the truth than  by my chasing after subscribers for my own ego.* If I stopped blogging about God and my faith, I would no longer be authentic. Because God is my life.

This is also what I love most about reading other people’s blogs: authenticity. Getting a glimpse into other people’s lives. Connecting over common struggles and sharing in their victories. Offering advice and support. Being inspired to appreciate beauty and music. Having my horizons expanded. Gaining the courage to go after goals and challenges that once seemed impossible.

Travis thinks it’s weird that I read other people’s blogs, specifically people that I don’t know in real life and probably never will. He looks at it the same way as being obsessed with celebrities – that I must be so discontent with my own life that I have to live vicariously through reading about other people’s. Totally not true. In fact, I love my life. I feel very blessed by God to be where I am, doing what I’m doing. But I also love hearing about other people’s lives. I think this is a natural thing. Humans long for connection. We want to hear that other people are going through the same things we are. We want to have our voice heard. By blogging, we’re putting our thoughts out there, for all to read. I hope that others are inspired and encouraged by what I blog, as much as I am by what they write.

Another great thing about blogging is that it’s a great way to easily connect with other like-minded people. For instance, I love triathlons, but I only have 2 other friends that do them. So I read about the triathlon feats of Erin, Kelly, and SUAR, and the running feats of Brie, LisaKate, SkinnyRunner, ChicRunner, and Kier. Camaraderie at my fingertips!

Which brings me to:

Be Appreciative.

Link love! This is something I am trying to do more, because I do really enjoy these awesome blogs and I think other people would enjoy them too. I also try to comment on several posts a day because everyone likes to know that something they wrote resonated with their readers, or was at least enjoyable enough to elicit a response. And I read a lot of resonating, enjoyable posts! This kind of connection isn’t always possible in day-to-day life. I mean, how often do we get to sit down with friends and talk about what’s going on in our lives in detail (and with pictures)? In my opinion, not nearly often enough.

So I’d like to know: Why do you blog? Why do you read other people’s blogs (like this one)? What is the main principle behind your blogging style?

*I am most definitely not saying that every blogger who has a large following is doing this. Just that if I were to do it, that would be the motive.

My new blog look

13 Feb

As you can clearly see, I have updated my blog’s look and name. I had my last blog look since I started my blog back in 2007. Not only was it time for an aesthetic update, I felt like my blog name no longer accurately portrayed what my blog was about. (For those of you who don’t know, it was called Learning and Loving It.) While I am still learning, I can’t honestly say that I’m loving it. That is, I love it only insofar as it is a means to an end: knowing Christ more. I don’t loving learning (especially hard things!) for learning’s sake.

So when I contemplated what my blog is about most often, these words came to my head: honesty. truth. God. faith. reality. questioning. trying to figure things out. life. confusion. hard stuff. emotions. body image.

I wanted my blog name to capture that life isn’t a bowl full of cherries but it’s not a bitch either (to borrow a popular phrase). It’s a process. You grow, you shrink, you step forward, you step backward, you succeed, you fail. But through it all, those who have Christ, have “a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain [into the presence of the Father], where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf…” (Hebrews 6:19-20).

If I’ve learned anything over the last 12 months of questioning, confusion, and uncertainty, it’s that I am a broken human being. It is only through Christ and His gospel that I amount to anything. He is my hope, my inspiration, my calm amidst the storm. He is the reason I get out of bed in the morning and the Person I praise when I go to bed at night. He is my everything.

I have joy in being a broken person because it enables me to see the glory of Christ, displayed most poignantly on the cross, even more.

I have also learned that it is God’s plan to break me…in a good way. Like Kay Warren talks about in her book, Dangerous Surrender: What Happens When You Say Yes to God, God wants me to be “gloriously ruined.” To paraphrase Kay Warren, to no longer be content to live with the focus of my life on my world – myself, my problems, my family, my career. He wants my eyes to be opened to the reality of this world – evil and spiritual warfare – and to engage in battle wearing the full armor of God.

Being broken isn’t easy or fun. It’s hard. It hurts. But it’s worth it. Jesus said that “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11). Jesus also said “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you… Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:22, 24).

Jesus promises us joy. Moreover, He promises us HIS joy. What is His joy? It was His joy that motivated Him to endure the cross (Hebrews 12:2). Just as it was Paul’s and John’s joy to see their “children” in the faith walking in the truth of the gospel, so it is Christ’s joy to see us reconciled to God and co-heirs with Him. In Ephesians 1:18, Paul prays that the Ephesians (and all believers) would have “the eyes of our hearts enlightened, that we may know…the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.” The only reason Christ died on the cross was to save us. He had perfect intimacy with the Father and the Father with Him. They didn’t need us. But they wanted us. And Christ’s death and resurrection – and the Holy Spirit dwelling in me – enable me to want God too. As the song All I Have is Christ says, “If you had not loved me first, I would refuse you still.”

I have Christ’s joy in me when I keep my eyes focused on heaven and God.

Colossians 1:11 says, “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” My qualification in the inheritance of the saints gives me joy.

1 Peter 1:8-9 says “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” Jesus is my source of joy.

I have joy in God when I turn from focusing on myself to focusing on God and the gospel. Often times, that shift only happens by God breaking me, making me die to myself and enabling me to live for Him and His purposes.

This blog is not called Happiness in Being Broken for a reason – happiness is based on circumstance. Most of the time, being broken does not make me happy.

This blog is called Joy in Being Broken because joy is a deep-seated emotion borne out of hope, truth, and faith in the gospel. True joy is only possible in Christ.

That’s what this blog is about.

Neglecting one blog for another…

14 May

If you wonder where I’ve been, what I’ve been up to, or if I’m still blogging (not that you really care that much about this little ole blog of mine), I have one word for you:


Training has taken up a lot of my time and I’ve been regularly posting on my other blog, TriGirl2009, instead of posting over here.


But hey, if you really enjoy reading my blog, why not humor me and join me on the other side of blogdom? Because I unfortunately can’t promise that I’ll be posting to this blog again with any semblance of regularity for as far as I can see into the future. The triathlon isn’t until July 18 (and even then, I might do another one in September…)

But yeah, training has been good, thanks for asking.