This week has been a week of preparations. When in preparation for something there are several of different steps one goes through to arriving at their end goal. This week has been a combination of stress, joy, and relief in starting a couple of new journeys. 
 First, I have started writing regularly for my blog. I have had the joy transitioning from having thoughts while reading a book or listening to the news to expressing those thoughts in writing. To write my thoughts takes more effort than I originally imagined. However, it is a blessing in disguise to be forced to clarify your thoughts to a level where you feel comfortable publishing them. I hope that you have managed to learn something this week in the process, I sure have!
 Next, I had the preparations for vacation. We all know the joys of vacation, once we arrive. There is a lot of stress in determining what to pack, what needs to be cleaned, and what level of sanity you will be able to maintain during the preparation stage. Now that I am on my to Canada it is such a relief and calming feeling to be on the journey itself and not just preparing. 
 Finally, the journey itself into Canada is in some ways a preparation. I am currently in North Dakota and will ascend upon our lovely neighbors to the north tomorrow. I am getting ready to watch the Women’s World Cup and follow the USA throughout the tournament (bar not planning on going to Vancouver for the 3rd group game). This has been a trip in the planning for 4-5 years and the excitement is mounting. I look forward to watching the USA dominate in Canada (we are currently ranked second in the world in women’s soccer/football). The USA has not won a Women’s World Cup since 1999, though they have won three Olympic gold medals in that time. I hope to see the USA lifting the trophy in Vancouver on July 5. For my state-side friends you can catch the games on the Fox Networks. USA has our first game Monday versus Australia. 
 Preparations are stressful but preparations are not an end in themselves but are about preparing for something. I have enjoyed transitioning into writing regularly and I look forward to seeing how my insights change over time, especially after I start my Master’s of Science in International Management in London. Further, it is nice to be transitioning from preparing for a vacation to ascending upon Canada to support the USA and England (doing a year in London for grad-school is enough of a reason to support a country, right?)! 
 When you hear about preparations or transitions what do you think of? Is it a positive or negative? I would love to hear what you think!   
Your friend,

On running this week:

This week running has been a mixed bag. I have had the joy of returning to running after taking time off while in Germany and the Netherlands. The weather in Saint Joseph, Missouri has been hot, muggy, and full of rain. We wouldn’t expect anything less of Missouri, would we? I look forward to the colder weather up north and getting some longer runs in during my preparation for a marathon. My long distance run for this week is planned for tomorrow (Sunday).